Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Boat crossings

In order to take the path that we intended to take, we had to deal with two large inlets. We were told that we could swim the first one if it were low tide, but none of us wanted to completely submerge our packs, other than the possibility of our gear getting wet, the pack would probably weigh twice as much after it was water logged. Plus, low tide was at midnight, and the moon would be nowhere to be seen. The second inlet was quite large, and had a lot of large ocean liners traveling in it, don't think they would see Al, Lane and I floating in the middle.

So a difficult task was at hand.

Well, until a few really nice folks came along and gave us a lift. Shane and Tenisha gave us a ride across the Ngunguru Inlet, and Clint and Kristy gave us a ride across Whangarei Heads.

Thanks a lot guys, you really helped us out.

Website Back Up!

Well, sorry to all the fans out there, It has been a frustrating few fays. But I finally got to a computer that could do what I needed. So, the progress page is back up, have fun following along.


Back to the coast

(Written October 7th)

Section three is all about variety, from the weather to the landscape and our various sleeping accommodations. We're finally getting some consistent sunny days. We started the hike with it raining every night and although we haven't had the crazy lightening and hail storms that the rest of the country have been having, we definitely have had some rain. It rained 7 times during the first morning we left Kerikeri. There was constant stopping and putting the rain gear on, taking the rain gear off. Dennis and Lane even spent one rain shower cowering under a gorse covered bank, Dennis with no shirt on, during one of our breaks to avoid having to repeat the process one more time.

This section we walked through forest, beaches, coastal walkways, farmland and roads. Its crazy how much the landscape changes within a day. We walked the Russell Forest Track which had near vertical ups and downs to awesome views and kauri groves. We also battled gorse thickets and climbed over sketchy uncleared landslides. By the end of the day we were on the coast looking at picturesque sandy bays.

We have definitely had some varied sleeping spots too. Our first night we camped down by the coast looking over oyster farms. On the Russell Forest Track we came across a 'hut', which was really just a shelter with some interior walls which divided it into three sections. Dennis and I went to sleep in the biggest section to a clear starry sky. In the middle of the night sometime he woke me up to say it was raining. I couldn't have cared less at that stage, I was well snuggled into my sleeping bag and had my hat on so felt fine. After a fair bit more prompting I finally extracted my arm to feel my very wet sleeping bag and the wind whipping the rain into the shelter. We spent the rest of the night crowded in amongst the bird droppings on a much more cramped bench. Our next night was on the floor of a wool shed, and now we're at my friend's beach place near Sandy Bay. Thank you so much to Mark and Caroline, you guys are awesome. We showed up to beer, a freshly baked cake, steaks and bacon and eggs for breakfast. Very luxurious.

On that note, we have also randomly come across the nicest people during our hike. We have had offers of places to stay, cars pulling over offering us lifts (and also promises of not telling anyone if we take the lift - we haven't caved yet), and general advice on trails in the area. Its blown us away. If your faith in humanity ever falters, put a big pack on your back and go walking round this country, it will be fully restored.

Well onto section four. Our bodies are finally coming into form. With a few hundred kilometres behind us we are no longer hobbling into camp at night like grannies. Waipu is 100km away, and the end of section four.