I thought I'd give Anthony a hand with catching up on the blogs.
Warning - we are having serious problems loading these blogs correctly so if it's a bit jumbled, we apologise and will try our best to sort then when we have time. Very frustrating, believe me.
Staying at Manakau Holiday Park was quite the "blast from the past". The park was used by the Paraparaumu College Roadshow for accommodation when we toured in the Auckland area, all those years ago! We were sad to hear that the park had been sold and will be used for housing, especially as there are very few campsites in Auckland.
Ant will fill you in on the technical details.
We headed off with a heavy dew on the ground. Luckily we had very nice paths from Manakau through to the Auckland Botanical Gardens so it was dry feet for us!
We didn't spend long in the gardens but did enjoy the beautiful crisp morning and seeing people exercising their dogs.
Leaving the Botanical Gardens and into beautiful Totara Park. More people walking dogs and a group of hearty souls doing what looked like 'boot camp'
We then hit the roads, leaving the city behind us. We were heading in the direction of Clevedon and there were many lifestyle blocks as well as the odd full scale farm to keep us interested.
When we are walking long days, we try to have breaks every few hours. It's good to get the packs off our backs and weight off our feet. Sometimes at lunch time we'll even take our shoes and socks off to give our skin a breather.
I remember from my horse riding days that Clevedon had a fair number of equestrian enthusiasts. That doesn't seem to have changed much as there were some very nice establishments.
After the road walking we soon had a "TA Special" to negotiate. These are tracks that I think are put in to connect other tracks or roads for TA. This one was climbing steeply through regrowing blackberry and gorse. There was a good view at the top though!
We eventually joined up with the Clevedon Reserve circuit. There was a lookout at the top and quite a few people were using this track. We stopped for lunch at the bottom on a very nice grass area before heading into the town of Clevedon for a cool drink.
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"!!