This trail has been seeping into my consciousness for sometime. Seemed a good compromise to do some of it ,it is 3000 ks long , rather than the shorter much more expensive ‘Great Walks’
Mind you by the time I had bought;tent,sleeping bag,mattress, new pack, new boots and new walking sandles plus a bucket of expensive dehydrated food plus a stove to cook same on, I was beginning to query the wisdom of freedom walking. Unfortunately there is no other way to do many parts of this trail.
Plus I had to get myself to Cape Reinga. Flew, actually felt like I had paid a part payment on the plane, to Kerikeri, then had to buy a return ticket on a tour bus to Cape Reinga…
So finally after spending the equivalent of a smallish car i arrived at 1 pm at Cape Reinga with a 22 year old English girl called Abbie.
Just added this…had a Maori bus driver who dida Karakia for us,lovely.
There are loads of steps , 300 plus, A counted them, down to a beach, no, not straight onto 90 mile beach , that was still 20 tortuous k away…
My legs had turned to jelly by the time I got to the nameless beach and the tide was coming in, sod it, drowning would be quick as my pack would hold me under…made it to walk along a k of beach. A was sitting at the bottom of a large hill, we go up here, I must have looked stunned, she had already rescued ne as their was a fast creek at the bottom of nasty hill and as I was about to fall in she lept in and grabbed me….then she offered to carry my pack up the worst bit, about 100 m, I was contemplating dragging it or throwing it in the creek and going back to the bus to use my return ticket…
Suffice to say we then walked for another six hours thru a barren landscape up and down up and bloody down to Twilight Camp, yes we arrived at Twilight to a nice wee Doc Camp, had toulets, plus a nice shelter and a tap.
About 7.45 by this tme, threw up the tent, inflated the mattress, shovelwd some dried fruit in threw off my clothes and crawled into my sleeping bag.
Day one done…oh for a b and b..and think about how I have moaned about them in the past….