Bluff Maunganui Camp – Hukatere Lodge
28 Sept, 40 – 70km, 8:30hrs, 29km
Hail, rain, wind, scrawly showers
I was about to leave camp 8:15 when a police patrol car drove into the campground. He checked out our intentions and spoke a few minutes to the other camper.
The sound of the ocean pounding all night was deafening. The wind came straight off the beach, strong all night.
I finished cleaning up and headed out the same time as Mike the owner of the other tent. We each paid $10 into the honesty box and stepped out onto the beach for the second day but for each of us we had company. I carried 3 litres water straight from the tap.
I noticed Mike had blisters he said he had a zero day yesterday to recover. It was his boot prints I followed yesterday over the sandy desert like area. The markers were hard to see in the distance yesterday so these foot prints were helpful.
A pleasant walk in the wind coming in your face off the sea. Plenty of nesting birds along the beach. No traffic on the beach but rain and hail at one time. Otherwise uneventful walk along past Te Paki stream where people often opt out or leave their walking party. It is a long and tedious walk on the rock hard sand on an outgoing tide.
The view was the same no matter how many hours went by, sand dunes, waves, sand and the sky. By the time we approached Hukatere Lodge we headed to the first buildings we saw peeping over the dunes. These buildings were not what we wanted so we had to follow a road and a sign leading us to Hukatere. The lodge is a long way from the beach and added 30 minutes onto an already big walk.
We finally reached a gate that said closed! A phone call invited us to “climb the fence”, gee we could hardly stand. We dragged ourselves up and flopped to the other side, the reception was the furthest away and at the top of the hill, arrived at 4:45. I paid $35 for the cabin by internet banking and provided covid details by text. Wifi but no internet.
Once inside power sockets, a gas stove, running water, tea coffee facilities greeted us. Two cabins each with many bunks provided space to dry and air our tents. The hot shower was the reward for a hard day.
I drank tea and chatted with Mike, ate my dinner before heading to my cabin to attend to blisters. My cabin didn’t yet have power but my head torch was enough.