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.

The alicoop and Blissful's shadow.
Auckland

TA Day 19, Dragon’s Spell to beach near Pakiri – 39 km

A grand sleep with my kiwi hoot-whistling softly and waves rumbling far below. I dream about a person who hasn’t been in my life a long time, feeling that familiar out-of-control reaction but in sleep I rewrite the ending.

Omra and Johnny let me speak about not fitting in, wanting a group of friends, but finding being alone is working for me, even if I have to weigh all decisions myself. I do have contact with Richard, so not totally alone, but we’re 19 hours apart.

My confidence is building – and my trust – that it will all work out. This doesn’t come easily to this control freak. I trade the (mostly) known but beginning to be routine life I know for a long trail that, even with so much information, remains to be revealed. Omra would say my subconscious needed this, even if it’s hard for me.

The water is turquoise from the Mangawhai Walkway.
The water is turquoise from the Mangawhai Walkway.
Farmland terraced by sheep and cattle with puffy clouds overhead.
Farmland terraced by sheep and cattle with puffy clouds overhead.

The trail begins in sun dappled bush, Johnny heads to town so puts up a ‘keep out’ sign. I arrived just in time.