Today was just a plan to "clean out" this section of mainly road walking - hopefully leaving us four day hikes to get to Wellington over the next few weeks. I once again forgot to restart the Suunto after our second cafe stop, so missed about 800m of recording - but we ended up doing about 14.5km to the Otaihanga boating club today - GPS data here. Mostly downhill and a fairly easy walk, although, as we locals know, the road is pretty narrow in places with small margins. Belinda's sister dropped us off, with their mum, today at the spot where our daughter picked us up after our Pukeatua Track section a few days back.
Not a huge amount to report today as it was a gentle "run" through an area we know well. But we did take some photos on the way anyway, for the record!!
One thing we did intend to do today is stop at a couple of well-known local cafes on the way (as time was not an issue)!! The first one was Wilf and Jan Wright's Potters Kiln Cafe (closed Mon/Tues) on Ngatiawa Rd just before it joins with Reikorangi Rd. We noted in the visitor book that a number of TAers had stopped in on the way past. As one guy who had come through from Poad's road said "tea and scones never tasted so good" after 6 days in the bush!! Well worth dropping in on the way past.
Then it was a short walk to the intersection of Reikorangi Rd, with the old church on the corner, and a walk down into Waikanae and our next cafe. This is Relish Cafe (closed Mon/Tues) on the corner of Elizabeth and Anne Sts. Anne and Allan McNair provide lovely food and refreshments - also worth a stop if you're feeling like another pleasant break!!
Then it was across SH1 and down the Waikanae River walk - we took the northern bank route down to the first footbridge and crossed there - you can also walk further down the north bank to a second footbridge near the Otaihanga Domain. On the way we stopped to look more closely at the new expressway bridge across the Waikanae River. This has a lot of relevance for us as we currently live on SH1 north of Paraparaumu and, with massive traffic increases over my lifetime there, getting in and out of our driveway can be a challenge!! The new Expressway which is being constructed (originally scheduled for completion mid 2017, but may even be open by Christmas 2016!!) will become the new SH1 and take a huge amount of traffic off "our" road - looking forward to the change!!!
Then it was a short walk to the Otaihanga Boating Club where we had planned to stop (thanks again to Julia, Belinda's sister, for dropping us off and picking us up!!).
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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"!!