Monday, October 15, 2007

Back to the BIG City

We got another healthy dose of Kiwi hospitality this section. In the last week, we were only in our tents for 2 nights. Pretty good, maybe I'll leave it behind, ya know, lighten the load. Although it does rain a lot here, so on the nights where we had to sleep out, we would run the risk of getting really wet.

We were treated to a delicious meal out and a dry warm bed by Meindert & Gerda in Mangawhai Heads, we met and stayed with Graeme Dingle (founder of Project K) and his wife Jo in Leigh, and a fun party night at John and Kim's house in Puhoi. We had the great opportunity to hike with a long trail legend Razzu all the way from California, he put our daily distance average to shame when he told us he averaged 25 miles on his hike rather than our 25k a day.

Last night we were picked up in the outskirts of Auckland by Alice's dad. Good thing because there are not too many places to pitch the ol' tent in suburbia. We are currently reaping the benefits of being in the house of Alice, great food cooked by her mom and having a choice of more than one outfit.

We enjoyed some satellite hiking today courtesy of Alice's dad. Satellite hiking is really nice, you hardly need any gear, just some water and lunch, oh yeah and a rain coat. A nice change from the 18Kg (40 lbs.) average pack weight. I think my bag today was somewhere around 1.5kgs (3 lbs.). I think that I forgot that it was on. We actually had a stream crossing, that's right, in Auckland. Apparently there is a bridge planned for the southern end of Campbells Bay, but we beat the bridge building crew. We all took our shoes off and waded the stream, I gave Alice a piggy back ride so that she would not have to re-tape her heels (a bit of blister prevention). All in all, we did manage to squeak out 34 kilometers in the city and a ferry ride. It is definitely much different from any of the hiking we have done so far. We're going to take our second proper day off tomorrow. So without further ado, I'm going to bed, goodnight.


Lane, Razzu and I at the Waiwhiu Kauri Grove
Alice gets a piggy back ride
East Coast Bays Walkway to Auckland
North Head
Cornwall Park