Pahia 253km to Punaruka Hut 278.8km
Free breakfast at 7am. Those words suck me in everytime. Several slices of toast and a couple coffees later I hit the trail, alone.
The trail left the coastal town of Pahia via a pleasant trail that hugged the often rugged coast. High tide had came and gone an hour or two earlier but there was little room between the rocks and the saltwater at times. I shared the trail with several trail runners and dog walkers, not to mention several salty sailors.
This part of the world is usually where cruising sailors sit out the cyclone season in the south Pacific. From October till April people from all round the world call these sheltered coves their home for a couple of months. The sailors are easy to spot with their bare feet, tanned skins and easy going manner. I have dreams of being one if those people one day but I will never have the financial ability.
By 10am I finished a meat pie at the small cafe in Opua. A vehicle ferry took me to the other side to start a 16km roadwalk. The $1 ferry was more affordable than the other options of Sea Kayaking -$85 or a water taxi -$60. Here is a problem, the trail is routed over the water, up a lovely inlet to the head of the bay. The two options for following the trail are expensive. As I’m coming to the end of a rather large adventure, I have to make financial sacrifices. Besides I wanted a hiking trail not a multi sport challenge. Although that is a good idea for the future.
In the afternoon the trail routed up a river gorge. Tree ferns overhung the rocky river and birds tried there best to drown out the sounds if the water cascading over the pebbles. This was the best section of trail so far, a place where pictures can’t convey just how lush and green everything is.
I camped next to a shelter that reminded me of the Appalachian trail. Only one big difference, I was alone.
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