Te Araroa 17
18th Oct: Whananaki South near Captain Bouganville monument to Nikau Bay Campsite
Our goal for the day, get to Nganguru which was about 20kms away.
Meet the couple along the road cycling new Zealand and they were half way in their three year journey of tour the world. They were from Holland and for the good half an hour we stood there talking, I had forgotten to remove my backpack and once we started moving again, my left shoulder was really killings me. Today I carried extra water and newly purchased shopping and this extra weight resorted in a sharp pain just around my scapular. A rest and a kind massage from Eunhwa made a world of difference and soon we left the sealed road and into farmland to which point Liz our American friend caught up with us as we were looking for a place for lunch.
Come 4pm we were at the bank looking for a place to cross the other side of the river, the travel notes say that you can either walk around the river to a bridge which was an extra 15kms out of our way or arrange for someone to take you over in their boat. But being low tide, and the distance to the other side was about three hundred meters, we started asking about for a point where we could cross safely and the first person said the it can be down but the crossing was just down the road. We continued asking others as I didn’t feel confident that this pice of information was correct. Asked a couple of more locals and the feedback was that the water was about head height at its lowest point.
We were put into contact with James, and after a while he called back and arranged for a pickup time. It worked out really good, James came by in his little dinghy with his dog Rusty. what he offered was small fee to get us a cross or a reasonable priced place where we could pitch our tents for the night at Niihau Bay Camp. Being almost 6pm we decided to camp for the night. For the last couple of years he had been busy setting up a camp site where you could put your tent and if you wanted, a warm bed indoors. He made us most welcome by make us a cup of tea first up and offered us the us of his kitchen. It was a fantastic place to stay, the shower was amazing where it was the size of a median sized bedroom and the toilet room as also very large about three times the size of any average toilet out there. The living room was very rustic with collections of old bits and pieces like musical instruments, cameras, photos from the 1800’s
After James made us a hot herbal tea, he made a fire in the open plan livingroom and went back outside with a couple of other travelers to work for a couple of extra hours before the light disappeared. The travelers which were two young girls from Germany must have had an arrangement that if they worked a couple of hours per day, they would receive in return free accommodation and food while staying there.
The room was heating up, thankfully I had already setup camp out side in the cold so we sat at the large table eating our basic food with all our batteries for our phones, and camera getting charged up. Finally we had to move out from the warmth and out into the cold to our tent with the plan of an early start tomorrow morning.