The beautiful rock spit near Dacre Point only crossable at low tide.
Auckland

TA Day 24, Stillwater to Auckland, 33 km + 4 km

Perfectly framed in Long Bay north of Auckland.
Perfectly framed in Long Bay north of Auckland.

It’s a lazy morning awaiting the tide to get to its lowest at 12:36 so we can cross the Okura River. Even so, the water will reach our hips and then some. The whole group is going and I’m thrilled. I’m not a ‘skipper’ – so you may have discovered – as many simply move on rather than wait it out. But I want to experience it all so have to wait for the right moment.

Soup for breakfast. I have two more instant mixes and one unopened NZ lager. Thankfully good take-away after the crossing, but it’s cold and humid this morning, rain coming and going – great for hiking but not so much for staying warm.

The rocky section after Wenderholm that can only be crossed at low tide.
Auckland

TA Day 23, Wenderholm to Stillwater, 30 km

The rocky section after Wenderholm that can only be crossed at low tide.
The rocky section after Wenderholm that can only be crossed at low tide.

Cold, damp, sandflies – oh my! It rained through the night and I was warm nestled in the alicoop, but once up, the chill works into the bones.

This is a slower group I’m paired up with, but our path, too, is slowed as we approach the city, and this is due to two tide-dependent crossings, over rocks and a river. I’ve put on my rain gear and found a spot in the sun to heat up and dig into my Puhoi cheese. My biggest expense on this adventure is fuel in the form of calories. Still, my pants are loose and I no longer have a bottom.

I begin my walk today in rain gear. Aspirational words on the stairs come as do the raindrops. – “Koe me he maunga teiti, Ki te tuoho, Whaia te iti Kahurangi.” Reach your goal, Be persistent, Aim high! And high I go above the Pacific all alone again.