hike blog

TA Day 14, Whananaki to Nikau Bay Camp – 28 km + 2 km

It’s quiet and cool this morning by the estuary. The wind died and the party heated up until the wee hours. I didn’t sleep so well, but up anyway because I love walking in the freshness of the morning.

I’m not the fastest walker. I move well and set goals, but I like to see things, think, take breaks – and photos – and write too.

Morning light on the estuary at Whananaki, pronounced fah-nah-NAH-kee).
Morning light on the estuary at Whananaki, pronounced fah-nah-NAH-kee).
The longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere.
The longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere.
The blissful Hiker crosses the estuary on a cool morning and is visited by Oyster Catchers and terns.
The blissful Hiker crosses the estuary on a cool morning and is visited by Oyster Catchers and terns.

And I need the quiet. Even with earplugs, I can’t seem to relax with lots of noise. It’s not just the sound itself, it’s this feeling that people are purposely being noisy. I mean, why have the muffler removed in a Harley except for the sole purpose of giving the middle finger to everyone else’s tranquility?

Now it’s completely silent except for those who like mornings as much as I do – the birds.

I cross the bridge in low tide from Whananaki North to Whananaki South. Gulls screech and waves break around the head.

hike blog

TA Day 13, Helena Bay to Whananaki – 25 km

The walk out of Helena Bay is straight up.
The walk out of Helena Bay is straight up.

Walking straight uphill this early morning onto a flower-covered hillside above the ocean. I can hear the waves crashing below. My pants are already soaked because the deep grass is drenched from last night’s torrential rain.

Just as I left the beach last evening and wandered back to the alicoop, a woman about my age wandered by, smiled and said hello. I followed her and asked if she might sell me a beer. She looked dumbfounded, “You need one?”

Yes, in fact I do after all those hot kilometers.

Turns out she doesn’t like beer at all. And and would much rather I share sparkling wine.

Monterrey Pines were imported to New Zealand and adapt well to the rain and fog.
Monterrey Pines were imported to New Zealand and adapt well to the rain and fog.

The next thing I know, I am included with husband, dad and cousin for cocktail hour. Tracy is a midwife, Ben, a carpenter. We natter for hours, and I learn much better Maori pronunciation – like wh is a ‘f’ sound, and that their home on the beach is called a bach, pronounced  “batch.”