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Begins: Dec 11, 2019
Date: Tue, Dec 11th, 2018
Start: Cape Reinga
End: Twilight Camp
Daily Distance: 12.2
Trip Distance: 12.2
Hours Hiked: 4
People Met: 3
Entry Visits: 59
Journal Visits: 2,097
Guestbook Views: 8
Guestbook Entrys: 1
1st day was tough. I couldn't sleep last night, woke up at 4 am and just couldn't get back to sleep. Got up about 6, ate breakfast and read for a bit, and packed my bag. Tania came by and took my bounce bag around 7:30 or so. Not sure what time we actually left.
Tania is a Maori, and full of info about her culture. She pointed out where her parents and grandparents were buried, and talked about how important honoring their ancestors is.
Got to the entrance of the park about 10:45. After a quick restroom break I loaded up. Had to adjust my new poles. The airline bent my others, so I ended up buying a new set in Auckland. I got the cheapest I could find, about $ 75 for a pair. They are black diamonds so they are a good quality.
Walked down to the lighthouse, stopping to take pictures for some people and having them take pics of me. Really cool setting, this is where the Maori believe souls go when you die. The Pacific ocean and the Tasman sea also come together here, and you can see whirlpools and breaking surf there.
Finally started on the trail about 11:15. Beautiful start, walking along the tops of cliffs. There was a lot more downhill than I had anticipated, and I had not put on my knee braces.
Got down to the first beach walk. This is the first section where tides matter. It was about 2 hours to high tide, so I could get around on the rocks pretty easily. There were a few places where the rocks were wet, and I had to time things to avoid waves. There were also a few places where I had to sit down to reach the rocks below without worrying about slipping. I made it with no problem and then began the first slog along the beach.
Walking on the beach is tough. I would walk where the sand was just damp, as that was the firmest. Since the tide was coming in, I sometimes had to walk up the beach to avoid incoming waves. Unfortunately, since I am on the west coast headed south, the slight slope of the beach puts my bad ankle on the low side. Still, all went ok.
At the end of the first beach I had to cross a stream. The water was going to come up to my knees, so I had to take my shoes off. I walked upstream a bit to find shallower water, and watched as waves traveled up the stream as the tide came in. It was amazing how far they would go.
After the beach was a climb up the hills to cross another headland. It was about a 120 meter climb, and then some very steep decents. I was glad it wasn't wet, as it would have been very slippery.
Got into camp about 3, not to bad, about 3kph. I was very tired from not sleeping well last night, so I set up my tent and crawled inside for a snooze. I thought I had set my alarm for 5pm, but I had set it for 5am, so by the time I got up at 7:30 it was too late to collect mussels from the rocks for dinner. Instead I watched the sunset, the got back into bed and ate a chocolate bar for supper, as I couldn't bear the thought of cooking.
Te Araroa is a 3000-km trail stretching from Cape Reinga in the North of New Zealand to Bluff in the South. Down the coastline, through the forest, across farmland, over volcanoes and mountain passes, along river valleys, and on green pathways through seven cities. Learn more: www.teararoa.org.nz