Today we were just planning to get across the Ohura River. This dictated our day as it is a low-tide crossing only and low tide was not until around 1900hr. Not the most convenient, but it is what it is!! We arranged to stay the night with Brian and Sally in Murrays Bay (another comfortable night - we may be becoming fair weather hikers!!).
The gps track for the day is here. About 22 kms today.
Because we were awake early we set off at about 0800 - just in case there was a chance of wading across the Okura River earlier than low tide. The trail took us on a bit of an inland loop this morning - through Silverdale then east out to Stillwater and the coast. We stopped after only a hour in Silverdale for a nice hot snack and drink as we weren't pressed for time. We got some "city" trail walking today before heading a little more "country road" before heading down to Stillwater Boating Club.
We had a rubbish truck driver stop and chat for 10 minutes. A very interesting guy from South Africa who has cycled over 50,000km around the world so far and is planning to head off to America to continue on. He had talked to a number of TA walkers over the summer.
At the Boating Club we discovered that they has a fair with raft racing and other activities. We arrived around midday so decided to stop for some lunch and enjoy the festivities - a chance for me to have a bacon and egg sandwich!!
We decided to head upstream of the Okura River for what is an alternative, shallower crossing. The other option was a deeper crossing closer to the river mouth which would have left us with another hour's walking to get to a road where Brian could pick us up. So we walked about 4.5km from the Boating Club around the coast to the spit that was the launching spot for the shallower crossing. The tide was still in a bit when we did this coastal walk so part of it required us to wade in the sea to get around - nothing major.
Having got to the crossing spot about 3 hours before low tide, I waded out to test the water - unfortunately it was getting towards hip level before I got to the main channel. We also saw a horse going across and it had to swim - so, rather than get unnecessarily wet, we decided to wait for a while!! We ended up sitting around out of the wind (which was pretty strong) for a couple of hours before deciding we would give it a go. It was somewhat of an anticlimax as we set off into the water an hour before low tide - it came up to about my knee and a bit higher for Belinda obviously!! Such is life.
We rang Sally and Brian, with Brian heading off the 10km or so to pick us up. In the meantime, we started walking down Okura River Rd and got another 2.5km under our belt before we met Brian. Less to do tomorrow!
We settled in at Sally and Brian's for another night of luxury bedding! A lovely meal (thanks Sally!) including a very nice pilsener (thanks Brian!!). More trail angels to keep us in the manner to which we are becoming accustomed (just kidding!). A lovely evening catching up before heading off to bed, with tomorrow being our sixth day walking in a row.
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!