A big climb takes me to a spectacular view from the Te Whara summit.
hike blog

TA Day 16, Taiharuru River to Peach Cove – 25 km

The tree house faces east looking out over the estuary, pink streaks reflected in the receding water that I’ll walk in a few hours. My sleep here was quiet and deep, I hate to leave but feel prepared for what today brings even if my ankle is more ‘cankle’ at the moment.

Just like home, it’s not easy to get up out of a warm, snuggly nest especially since I stayed up late sewing up the rips in my trousers – and watching Australian Ninja with Hugh and a “cuppa.”

Ros hiked the Te Araroa last year at the age of 66. This morning, she carries Olive Oyl across the Taiharuru Estuary.
Ros hiked the Te Araroa last year at the age of 66. This morning, she carries Olive Oyl across the Taiharuru Estuary.

Full breakfast and lots of conversation around the table about Minnesota and ecology. Turns out the locals hate the mangroves, “They bring the mud and ruin my sand beach!” The fact is, draining the area for farming took out the native wetland, and the mangrove – with their spreading snorkels – are simply opportunists.

Millions of pipis and tuatuas give a lovely crunch to my step.
hike blog

TA Day 15, Nikau Bay to Taiharuru Estuary – 13 km

It’s been two weeks. I’ve gotten conjunctivitis and a minor sprain. Here’s hoping – hobbling? – the new week is full of health and safety.

I walk slowly and deliberately. Scrubby lowland here, lots if invasive prickly gorse so I’m glad the track is wide and they stay in their side.

Millions of pipis and tuatuas give a lovely crunch to my step.
Millions of pipis and tuatuas give a lovely crunch to my step.
The sign to James' Nikau Bay Camp.
The sign to James’ Nikau Bay Camp.

I arrive at the mouth of the Horahora River as it spills into the Pacific. The tide is out and now I must walk up it. Tuatua and pipi shells, oyster catchers and a symphony of screeches greet my arrival on the wave scarred sand. The surf crashes at the bar as footsteps make a pleasing crunch. I follow Ondi’s sunken looping v-steps until they disappear.

The water is cold and fresh up to my crotch, the tide pulls me upstream. Bram and the kayak boys catch up to me. I’m surprised how timid they are picking their way across, seemingly afraid to get wet or yanked under by the current.