27th Oct. Te Araroa 26
Had our first lunchtime bar meal while on the track, come midday or more like 2pm, we finally exited the walking track and by this time Eunhwa was really slow and tired and it took all my patience to say nothing and to be supportive.
I had tried many things to get her sprits up without success that was until we come across the pub in Puhoi. First I thought of going to the Cafe next door and get either fish and chips or something easy but I knew what would really make Eunhwa happy, A beef steak.
So she order a steak and I a chicken burger and then extra chips because I was extra hungry. The beef steak she ordered was a disappointment but she ate it anyway, the steaks we purchased at the supermarket and cooked ourselves in the past week or so, were much better. They just didn’t cook it the way she liked it and overcooked it instead. But overall the two hours relaxing at the bar sitting outside was very nice and she felt much better and ready to take on the trail again for the last couple of hours for the day.
The bar was really interesting, more like a museum than a local pub with many artifacts hanging on the walls of the timber workers of the past.
Liz turned up as she spotted Eunhwa’s red hat from a distance and stopped by before the three of us started to move on to get closer to Auckland
We had two options to get around this river we had to cross, either take a canoe trip on the outgoing tide which would take 3 hours or walk along the highway which would take about the same time but with unpleasant environment with cars, trucks passing us at high speeds. As it turned out, our timing for the tides for the canoe was not very good and we would have to wait for another 3-4 hours to be ready and it would have been to late in the evening.
So we pushed on and had the very unpleasant walk along the highway for 3km until we found a farmers track.
As we got closer to Auckland it was getting harder to find places to Free camp and being creative was required. When doing this big walk, you just don’t find a camp site at each 25kms along the track so you have no option but to find a spot out of sight of neighbors or passing traffic and camp. Come 7pm we were getting tired and I found a walkway that had a sign saying it was closed off, to me it was an obvious place to go and find a patch of grass to camp, as we would not get any visitors that would disturb us and just 50 meters down the track, there was a perfect place to rest for the night.
Great spot as as we set up camp, the birds were very active with them singing until late in the evening.