Auckland

TA Day 21, Dome forest to Puhoi – 34 km

The orange triangle leads the way through the steep, overgrown bush of the Dome Forest.
The orange triangle leads the way through the steep, overgrown bush of the Dome Forest.
"Tramping Track" standard reminds hikers the next section will be strenuous and muddy.
“Tramping Track” standard reminds hikers the next section will be strenuous and muddy.

I’m up and out early. Exotic birds becoming friends wake me, but I slept fitfully. It would be a big day to Puhoi, but if I get a burger after this mountain, I think I can do it.

The tent is damp – I’m damp – but feel relatively clean, the feet still managing to move well. Not fast, but fast enough.

Looking down towards Puhoi from Moirs Hill.
Looking down towards Puhoi from Moirs Hill.
Kauri forestry operations in the early part of the 20th century.
Kauri forestry operations in the early part of the 20th century.

Why is it that a kind act, like sharing a beer, gets me all panicky? All the upset of my life is bubbling out of my pores. This walk was hardly an escape, more a coming to terms.

Tree fern fiddlehead in the Dome Forest.
Auckland

TA Day 20 – Pakiri beach to Dome Forest – 26 km

Sunrise on Pakiri beach after a wonderful sleep on pingao and hairstail grass with a Norfolk Pine looking on.
Sunrise on Pakiri beach after a wonderful sleep on pingao and hairstail grass with a Norfolk Pine looking on.

A sunrise over the South Pacific. Not a bad way to wake up. Though I faff about in the warmth hoping the sun will dry the dew. No such luck. Once I open the thermarest valve, game is on and I begin to pack, wet or not.

I don’t like the face I see, wrinkled and saggy but console myself with what my body still can do. The beach is pristine and empty except for one straw I carry out and an awaiting surf board. Mist rises in the distance, ghostly white in the hot sun.