14th Oct – start out 12:30pm.
We had a late start in Kerikeri this morning, a good rest in a cabin at the Backpackers and resupply at the shopping centre the previous day, we felt much better even with a late start of hitting the trail. It’s surprising the difference you feel with that extra five hours in the morning make you feel before putting on the heavy backpack. It was like having a zero day but still putting in the kms for the day.
Shopping last night had taught us a lesson, again we purchased too much and it effects me the most as all the food goes into my backpack. We did the shopping with the shopping cart, sounds harmless enough I know, but as you push the cart around the shop store, you don’t have a sense of weight in the cart. So next time we’ll only use a shopping basket thus limiting the amount we purchase and straight away I’ll appreciate the weight.
Detour in the forest added on 1-2 hours of walking where signage were unclear and we had to backtrack more than a couple of times. Even with the assistance of the GPS, it was still confusing due to the inaccurate new roads that lead to dead ends where honey boxes were setup. It was nice walking the through the forest, with all the signs of ‘watch out for kiwi’ i was hoping to see one running accross the track. A couple of times I had thought I heard their calling sounds but I think these birds are nocturnal and it was just my imagine running wild.
We found a lookout point with view over Waitangi which was a five minute walk from the road, signage said no camping and no parking of caravan but at 7pm, sore feet, getting cold and dark. We decided to camp anyway as the park to get to the view point was well hidden from the road with a 10 minute walk and providing we setup late and leave early, how would know?
Eunhwa wasn’t keen on my first spot which over looked the bay and had the amazing views so I had to relocate to a move discreet place.
We were about 5km from the little town below, Waitangi, which has a camping site but at 20 dollars per head and we would arrive late and leave early, it wasn’t worth the effort to push on to the camp site with little benefit. So we free camped tonight.
Our schedule is to fly out of New Zealand on the 24 Feb, which gives as four and a half months to finish the Te Araroa. I feel confident we can do it, but this morning I phoned Singapore Airline to see about extending our stay by 2 weeks, our tickets are not that flexible as I used my frequent flight points to purchase them, as the points I had were due to expire, now I’m on a waiting list to get the tickets changed to a date in March. This is major disadvantage of using your points but it was a cost savings of 1,500 dollars per ticket where i just had to pay 500 dollars in total for each person for the tax etc.