Hukatere – Waipapakauri Holiday Park
29 Sept, 71 – 87km, 6hrs, 16km
Overcast, windy, hot sun
Travelling with Mike we left camp at 8:30 getting instructions for the quick way to the beach. “Find the two orange markers, walk through the gate, leave the gate open so the grey horse can get out, it’s not ours. If you meet the grey horse use your poles to look big if it intimidates you.” No problem straight onto the beach and walk south.
My boots were tight with blister protection and swelling so I stopped a few times to adjust the socks.
Mike walked on so I walked fast to catch up. Mike was measuring walking speed an interesting process. The end of that day we averaged 3.8km an hour. At times while looking for a log to rest against and finding none, we slowed right down to a stop. It was good to know the difference between 2, 3, 4 and 5 km speed.
We stopped for lunch at 8km and to get out of the wind we climbed over the dunes for lunch. The first midday stop of 45 mins. We followed the path behind the dunes that led back onto the beach.
There was a lot more traffic on the beach now, fewer birds, more rubbish washed up, plastics and general rubbish.
We came across dog foot prints, that gave us some excitement until we realised it was dog exercise. The tyre tracks gave it away. These became more common beach finds.
About 4km out we could see a bit of movement in one place. The End is in Sight! Rain showers crossed ahead but didn’t really reach us.
We exited the beach and called the camp. No answer so we wandered up to Waipapakauri Holiday Park and found someone who said just find a spot and camp it’s pretty casual, we will come back a bit later to pay etc. They never came. Hot showers, laundry, tv room, flat camp spots.
We crashed on the grass and enjoyed the sun for a while before setting out tents up.
Hemi stopped to chat, along with his taiaha he spoke about his experience on his own TA walk. His work in helping local people reconnect to their roots was interesting. The picture above is Hemi and Mike chatting at dusk.
An amazing sunset over the beach. Misty rain just on dusk and heavier a bit later on.