Day 23, Wenderholm to Stillwater, 30 km
Cold, damp, sandflies – oh my! It rained through the night and I was warm nestled in the alicoop, but…Read
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audio narrative: the trail will provide
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Day 22, Puhoi to Wenderholm – 7 km + 1 km
The barkeep Sean has just asked if I met the ghost in room 7, he carries his head in his…Read
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Day 21, Dome forest to Puhoi – 34 km
I’m up and out early. Exotic birds becoming friends wake me, but I slept fitfully. It would be a big…Read
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Day 20 – Pakiri beach to Dome Forest – 26 km
A sunrise over the South Pacific. Not a bad way to wake up. Though I faff about in the warmth…Read
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Day 19, Dragon’s Spell to beach near Pakiri – 39 km
A grand sleep with my kiwi hoot-whistling softly and waves rumbling far below. I dream about a person who hasn’t…Read
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Day 18, Ruakaka to Dragon’s Spell – 26 km
Note to self: no more setting up on a slope. It was relatively wonderful at Betty’s but I couldn’t find…Read
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Day 17, Peach Cove to Ruakaka – 17 km + 11 km
I am a total dope. I followed a beach sign down to a rocky shore. But there is another beach…Read
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Day 16, Taiharuru River to Peach Cove – 25 km
The tree house faces east looking out over the estuary, pink streaks reflected in the receding water that I’ll walk…Read
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audio narrative: hiking as conversation
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Day 15, Nikau Bay to Taiharuru Estuary – 13 km
It’s been two weeks. I’ve gotten conjunctivitis and a minor sprain. Here’s hoping – hobbling? – the new week is…Read
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Day 14, Whananaki to Nikau Bay Camp – 28 km + 2 km
Quiet and cool this morning by the estuary. The wind died and the party heated up until the wee hours.…Read
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Day 13, Helena Bay to Whananaki – 25 km
Walking straight uphill this early morning onto a flower-covered hillside above the ocean. I can hear the waves crashing below.…Read
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Day 12, Waikare to Helena Bay – 28 km
I get an early start. It’s overcast just as I like it. Someone else is up with a weed wacker.…Read
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Day 11, Paihia to Waikare – 13 km + 3 km
The day dawned damp and a bit chilly. Our tent city at the Pickled Parrot spreading out on the couches…Read
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Day 10, Kerikeri to Paihai – 24 km
Another lovely night’s rest and now Vern drives me on the windy rollercoaster of a road back to Stone House…Read
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audio narrative: the start
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Day 9 – zero day, Kaeo
I’ve been invited to stay the night at one of the most extraordinary homes I’ve ever been to, in the…Read
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Day 8, Puketi Forest to Kerikeri – 27 km
The morning came full of birdsong. The first few nights – especially going this hard – are tough. My legs…Read
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Day 7, Apple Dam to Puketi Forest camp – 36 km
Well this <expletive> sucks. It’s been pouring rain for the last few hours. Nothing is nastier than packing in rain.…Read
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Day 6, Umaumokaroo to Apple Dam – 26 km
Just putting my things up to face a few more hours of mud til a road walk and – you…Read
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Day 5, Takahue Saddle Road to below Umaumakaroo – 16 km
What a delight to spend the evening at Peter’s overlooking Ahipara Bay. Wine under the olive trees, alicoop drying in…Read
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Day 4, Utea Park to Ahipara, 32 km
Definitely a better night at Utea Park and I do feel a bit sheepish that I was so maudlin last…Read
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Day 3, Maunganui Bluff to Utea Park – 30 km
The alicoop crashed in the middle of the night. First came torrential rain, then the wind. Then rain and wind.…Read
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Day 2, Twilight to Maunganui Bluff – 28 km
I woke up early. Really early. To be expected after not feeling any effects of jet lag on yesterday’s mission.…Read
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Day 1, Cape Reinga to Twilight – 12 km
It’s pitch dark, the waves are crashing and the other six at Twilight are asleep, nestled in their tents. This…Read
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