Last night I camped in the front yard of a family home with 2 Danish and 2 Swedish hikers. The generosity of the locals who live near the trail being experienced on a daily basis by most hikers. It’s a special country.
I set off alone on small forestry roads, small farm roads, through cow paddocks with crazy cows that followed me like in a scene from Southpark.
10am photo of New Zealand farmland.
The coastal trail near the sleepy town of Mangahua Heads was special. It was a beautiful blue sky with just the most gentle wind. Just enough to taste the salt in the air. The ocean was about 50 meters below the trail and was so clear that if a shark was swimming anywhere nearby I would surely have seen it. This was a purpose built hiking trail equal to any short coastal trail anywhere in the world. I was impressed.
Being a Sunday all the little grommets were out in force on the beach, there was a surf lifesaving carnival. They were all lined up ready for training and a series of races. By the way, grommets are what young kids who surf or partake in surf rescue meetings are called, dont worry it’s a good thing.
A large but tasteless burger and chips were washed down by a very large and very tasty chocolate thick shake. The 2000 calories were enough to get me another 15km to a campsite on the beach.
There are two low tides here per day. At the moment they were at around 5am and 5pm. I opted to keep in walking along the beach late in the afternoon to crisp the tidal streams when they were only ankle deep. Any hikers coming along the beach at midday night have chest deep water to cross. Once is enough for me.
The trail goes along the beach near a habitat for one of New Zealands rarest birds, the New Zealand Fairy Tern. There are possibly only 35 left and live on a very small section of beach here. Understandably the trail is routed away from that area but its uncool to climb up in the dunes in this area.
As the sun started to set I ate dinner and got ready for bed. When I looked outside my tent the sky was on fire. It was a crazy sunset. I’d set up my tent above the high tide line but before the dunes. A great place to camp and nobody around.