The weather wasn't looking too bad today so we decided on doing the next stretch - accompanied for the first 9.5km by our daughter Amelia and our "flatmates" Jacquie, with her 1 year old twins Blake and Ella!! A real family outing!! Belinda and I ended up doing over 17.5km to end at a cafe in Paekakariki (of course) - the day's GPS data is here.
After babies were fed, Belinda's sister Julia kindly dropped us all off at the Otaihanga Boating Club about 0840 where we set off along the south bank of the Waikanae River through the estuary reserve and out towards the beach. The girls and the babies had a short road detour along Manly St for a couple of hundred metres nearing the beach (some hard stuff to handle with a "twin buggy"!) and met us soon after back on the beach. I should note that we had the dogs with us today as well - out farmdog Quinn and his best friend, Jacquie and Mark's dog, Little Bear. Quin is the black/tan/white one, Little Bear the darker one :-).
We only had a short walk along the beach before we were rejoined by the detouring team and then set off along the familiar beach towards Paraparaumu Beach village. The dogs, of course, had a ball as dogs are wont to do on beaches!
Even though we had only done 5km we "needed" to stop for an ice cream and to give the babies a break from the stroller (and some milk for them). At least, that was the excuse!! It was nice for Belinda and I to walk with company, and we we not in a hurry, so made the most of the leisurely day!
Then it was on for another 4.5km or so before we came to a piece of beach that we couldn't pass with the stroller (almost high tide!) so Jacquie and Amelia headed up onto Matatua Rd and called Julia to come and collect them while Belinda and I headed on towards Raumati and then Paekakariki. In fact we made it only another 100m or so before we too had to head up onto Matautua Rd because we didn't want to wade through waist high waves! We did this for about 1.5km, rejoining the beach by Marine Gardens at Raumati.
Then it was 3km more down the beach to the start of the Queen Elizabeth Park trail. Most of this stage was walked on a raised path behind a low seawall that kept us out of the water, it being around high tide. Most of it was sand/shingle but there was a small section near Raumati South of nice paved walkway!
Then it was off the beach into QE Park for the walk to Paekakariki. Belinda used to ride her horse all through here as a kid, although it looks a bit different now, with nicely developed shared walk/cycle paths and plenty of toilet facilities!
Walking through here we hit our highest point for the day - a massive 15m above sea level!! As you can see, it was not a day for strenuous climbs (more of that ahead over the next few weeks and months!!). But it was a pleasant walk and we met a number of walkers and cyclists which was great to see (being school holidays might have boosted numbers on a weekday).
After about 4km through the park we arrived at the Paekakariki Surf Lifesaving Club which it pretty much at the very north end of town. From there it was only another 2 km to the cafe in Paekakariki where we met with a friend, Sarah, who lives there for a drink (and lunch for Belinda and me). All in all, a very leisurely 4.5 hours in total, including breaks along the way. We rang Amelia who drove down to pick us up and take us back home. We have been deliberately holding off doing the new Paekakariki Escarpment Track, so it will be our first time on it when we tackle that in our next day walk.
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"!!