Blow Carting near Ahipara.
hike blog

TA Day 4, Utea Park to Ahipara, 32 km

The long pathway begins with a long beach walk.
The long pathway begins with a long beach walk.

Definitely a better night at Utea Park and I do feel a bit sheepish that I was so maudlin last night. I think we’re still sizing each other up. I even had a dream I was still back in Saint Paul planning and not actually doing the trail. I guess my psyche needs time to catch up.

Spirula or Ram's horn shell on Ninety Mile Beach.
hike blog

TA Day 3, Maunganui Bluff to Utea Park – 30 km

Early morning sunlight on clouds above Ninety Mile Beach.
Early morning sunlight on clouds above Ninety Mile Beach.

The alicoop crashed in the middle of the night.

First came torrential rain, then the wind.

Then rain and wind.

But I must say, the Te Araroa goddess was smiling – ok, she snickered when my side peg ripped out and my hiking pole fell on my face – but after, in her benevolence, she stopped the rain, cleared the sky so I could see the shining array of southern stars, and gave me just enough time to reorient the alicoop aiming into the wind.

The beach is exposed, relentless and monotonous, but I love it.
The beach is exposed, relentless and monotonous, but I love it.
Wild horses keeping watch at Maunganui Bluff.
Wild horses keeping watch at Maunganui Bluff.

I’m awakened by the snort and whinny of a horse. A small family lives here including a few sweet foals. I tried last night to sweet talk them into allowing a photo, but they were shy and their patriarch gave me a threatening look. I wonder if they know I’m in this tent?