Day 12

Kerikeri Hone Heke Lodge – Waitangi – Paihia

7 Oct, 229 – 251km, 7hrs

Overcast

Steph offered a ride to the trailhead Waitangi Forest. She met me with a latte and dropped me at the bakery to buy a sandwich for lunch.

A last chat at the Inlet Rd trailhead to finish coffee and off I went at 8:45.

The notices to enter the Waitangi Forest took a while to read and I went on regardless of the notices.

At the start of the track machinery was operating close to the road. When the operators saw me they bowed their baskets, communicated to each other and me with a thumbs up.

The guys stopped their equipment dipping their grabber buckets as I walked past. The truck driver is a woman.

Light rain all day, was wet through in no time. A pleasant walk trying to navigate the logging roads and GPS signals. When the blue dot wandered off my track line I knew I was on the wrong road so had to double back 15 mins a few times.

Even though it was wet Waitangi Forest was an easy pleasant walk. Navigation was challenging loosing GPS in some hollows and rain getting into my phone port. Battery was low on arriving in Waitangi.

Kris a fellow TA walker left 3 days ahead of me, we planned to meet mid afternoon coming from two directions. Kris bought me a coffee at the Waitangi Cafe, both dripping water. This was the first time I felt really cold. Great to share stories and get tips from Desiree who is ahead of Kris on the track.

We walked together in driving rain to Paihia and parted, Kris to get supplies and I phoned for a shuttle to Opua. I waited for Dennis and hadn’t been so cold and wet like this since running harriers as a kid.

I stripped off all wet clothes in the garage and stepped into a hot deep Radox bath that was waiting for me. A glass of Chardonnay was delivered and was left to soak the tired body.

Enjoyed a glass of champagne before dinner, celebration of Section 1 and 2 complete.

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