Russell to Oakura
KM walked today : 24km
Total KM walked : 288
Today started slowly with both Hannah and I suggesting we could have a rest day. The weather looked miserable and the caravan was very cozy. I had a great nights sleep and could have easily curled up in the caravan and spent the day writing. Yesterdays melancholy was still around even though I had slept really soundly. I was still feeling depleted of energy. The notes indicated that the track was going to be quiet picturesque and it was , really lovely, difficult but enjoyable. However drizzling rain and cold turned it into a miserable day and to top it of I attempted a triple somersault in the pike position into the creek when my foot slipped and cracked my head. The track traversed the Papakauri Stream and after several ups and down getting in and out of the creek and my tumble it was decided to walk in the creek bed. We finished the day with a Road Walk into Oakura a small township 2km of trail. Wet and miserable we opted to pay for a caravan to dry of and get warm. In the park with us are a group of fisherman who come to Oakura every year to fish and each year they have “The Great Curry Cook Off” and we were asked to be judges so we all got a feed of several curries, which helped in the warm up process,
HIGHLIGHT: Getting a dramatic picture of me with blood pouring down my face. *NB* David was more concerned about me than getting a photo of my cut but under my tearful instruction he got the photo before fixing me up
LOWLIGHT: My little tumble into the creek destroyed all our business cards.
Today I am grateful for the universe’s protection, I could have really gashed my head open instead it only grazed it. Grateful again for getting the last caravan available so we didn’t need to be out in the rain.
Kerikeri to Russell
KM walked today : 29km plus water taxi 11km
Total KM walked :264km
Today was basically all on forestry roads through pine forrest with a water taxi ride to Russell. Nice but uninteresting. However as always on trail things happen. Met a guy called Curly trying to run the Te Araroa unassisted his pack was only 22L( compared to my 45L) and he was living on coconut cream and avocados . Embracing the new ketosis trend! Hopefully we will hear about his trip some way down the track. We had arrange to camp at a trail angels property tonight that lived close to the Waikare Landing however to get to her place was a 22km walk. So she suggested that we wait until she finished work at 8.00pm and she would drive us to her property so we spent the afternoon in the Russell pub waiting for her. Whilst in the pub it rained intermittently so we arrived at Sheryl’s after dark with it raining ....not the greatest scenario to put up a tent. And again the universe prevailed Sheryl offered us a very tiny caravan to stay in if we wanted it. NO BRAINER, it’s wet,cold,dark and windy...who wants to put up a tent. So the 4 of us squeezed into a 2 person caravan. Cozy as.
HIGHLIGHT: The cozy caravan and a note from Georgia telling us we should catch her in the next few days
LOWLIGHT: Feeling very sluggish and cold all day
Today I have to admit I am struggling for gratitude. I am tired and it’s cold and miserable so I am keeping it simple.... I am grateful to not be working, grateful for the people I am walking with Tim, Hannah, Georgia and David they are all so much part of this journey and I am grateful for this cozy warm bed.
Puketi Forrest HQ to Kerikeri
KM walked today: 28km
Total KM walked : 214km
Today was an easy hike through pastoral land then along the very beautiful Kerikeri River Walk. Although the hike was easy we still had some adventures
David and I where discussing today that although we had only been on the road 12 days we had already accumulated lots of memories and how many more we will have in 5 ,10, 15 years. Different people, places, challenges, triumphs. We are so lucky and blessed to be living this life.
“With great risk comes great reward” Dalai Lama
Please if you are reading this be courageous , make your dreams come true. Don’t wait until........
HIGHLIGHT: The view of the Bay of Islands
LOWLIGHT: Nearly shitting my pants when the cow charged me.
Today I am grateful for our courage to venture into the unknown, I am truely grateful for being slightly crazy and believing that all our dreams will come true and doubly grateful that David is right here with me.
Apple Dam Campsite to Puketi Forest HQ
KM’s Walked Today : 24km’s
Total KM walked : 196km
Today was heaven and hell. The morning was an amazing walk in a stream, absolutely beautiful. Amazingly surreal. The only noise was the tinkle of the water, both sides of the creek lined with thick green bush. Then BANG we were back on the deplorable forrest track. Landslides everywhere, the track was a 20-30cm cliff edge goat track with a 5 m drop. Twice I slipped of the edge and fell, grabbing tree roots to stop my downward tumble. Then had the arduous task of trying to get my big arse back up onto the track. David was amazing once coming down to where I had slipped to and pushing me back up and once pulling me back up over a tree. Totally exhausted we walked into camp and I was spent both physically and emotionally. I walked into the hut and there were people everywhere so I walked out, still with pack on and sat outside and cried. Some poor guy came out to find me sitting in the rain pack on crying, he didn’t know what to do so asked if I needed to help to get my pack off. Looking back it was a funny situation.
HIGHLIGHT: The serenity of the creek walk
LOWLIGHT: The condition of the track.
Today I am so grateful for being alive . I am in awe of how beautiful but harsh nature can be and how amazing my body is and it’s ability to recover. I am grateful for the serenity of walking the stream to give my mind space to calm down. Grateful for my gorgeous partner who nursed and encourage me through the forest with patience and love.
Mudamuka Diary to Apple Dam Campsite
KM walked today: 14km
Total KM walked : 172km
WOW what a difference a day makes. Woke at 6am and got a few messages out to people to tell them we had made it through the imformous forrests alive. Then we popped in next door for the famous breakfast burgers and........my first real coffee on the trail. YES in 10 days only 1 coffee. (For those who don’t know me my favourite pastime before Te Araroa was drinking coffee at a funky cafe called the Fat Frog in Cannonvale in the Whitsundays. (Best coffee and staff for miles.)
After breakfast we headed for Apple Dam camp spot, it was an easy uphill climb on a forestry road nothing to really see, however the camp spot was a delight. The camp was situated alongside a little creek with a log seat situated across the creek. So after setting up the tent I went down to the creek and spent the afternoon cleaning myself and our clothes in the cold crystal clear water. It was really special.
HIGHTLIGHT: Having a cold water bath so refreshing
LOWLIGHT: None a good day.
Today gratitude is all about people, the people we are walking with and meet on the track are amazing. The stories enrich our lives so much we are so blessed. Im grateful for fresh water creeks that not only cleaned me and my clothes but soothed my soul and reconnected me with the beauty that surrounds us. Im grateful for my gorgeous daughter who is a constant supply of love and pride and happiness.
Ratana Summit to Mangamuka Bridge Dairy
KM walked today : 18km
Total KM walked : 158km
On the promise of great burgers at the Munamoka Diary we were up at 5am to tackle the last 18kms of the Ratea Forrest. None of us were in good spirits due to the track condition yesterday and we expected more of the same. The first 10km was slow going with horrendous mud and sliding it took 6 hours to do 8kms. ( We usually do 4-5kms per hours). Then a gift from the universe the track turned from a muddy root infested slide to a grassy forestry track. Then a 8km road walk which is hard on the feet but a rest from the terror of the muddy slide. The reward for our effort today ...... freshly made egg cheese & tomato toastie, carrot cake, and Pepsi.
Have to mention that we didn't walk the last 750m into Mangamuka . About 2km from the diary a car pulled up and asked did we want a lift we all said no. About 15 minutes later the same car pulled up and the driver said "Mum said if you want burgers you have to get in now as she was closing up" We all piled in.
We were so buggered that we asked the lady (Eliza) could we stay in the abandoned shop next to the dairy so that’s where we slept just on State highway 1 with logging trucks going by all night.
HIGHLIGHT: Eliza the dairy owner and the great toasties
LOWLIGHT: The state of my legs when I cleaned all the mud of they where scratched to pieces with 2 massive bruises.
Today I am so gratefull for the generosity of the people of NZ, they are so beautiful in their simplicity of grace. Grateful to have now made it through 2 Forrest’s and grateful for David making me continue on after yesterday. He told me I could do it and then helped me all day to get through.
Trampers Inn to Ratea Summit
KM walked today :18km
Total KM walked : 140km
OMG I thought the terrain couldn’t get any worse ......I as WRONG. Today was up, up, up in knee high mud hiding tree roots. The highest point was 750km above sea level. The only reward was the camp site.......nestled on the summit was a fairytale camping area all green forrest sprinkled with white flowers cold and misty.
HIGHLIGHT: The camp spot
LOWLIGHT: Mud in my butt and ripping the arse out of my shorts.
Even today when my whole body ached and I cried several times from pain, frustration and terror I am so grateful for David’s support, this life we have chosen and my own inner resolve to smash the tough stuff. Grateful for the gorgeous campsite. Grateful for my gorgeous bed, it is such a luxury to curl up on my mattress and sleeping bag that cocoons my body overnight and helps it to recoup.
Ahipara to Trampers Inn
KM walked today: 22km
Total KM walked: 122km
Shattered, shattered, shattered. My god what a nightmare the “track”, and I use the word lightly. It was straight up at 75 degrees and was mud, mud, mud. The conditions where so bad I can’t describe them, I spent more time on my butt than I did on my feet. The count was Herekino 9 Tanya 0, but I am taking the win as I made it through. I had mud in places the light has never seen, and all that effort and no view of the surrounding area. The climb was 580m above sea level so we got some elevation however the forest was so thick there was no view.
Met some new people at Trampers Inn : Heinz from Germany and Cassidy, Peter, Jenni and Clea from the USA.
HIGHLIGHT: Warm bed at Trampers Inn
LOWLIGHT: The whole bloody day
Grateful: For my own inner resolve to be brave and to smash the tough stuff, but more grateful to David for reminding me of this when I was crying and exhausted. Grateful to the owners of Tramper Inn for the glorious toilet with an amazing view. Grateful for the entertainment of meeting different people with different views.
TA DAY 19 22nd November
Pataua to McKenzie Bay
The Green Bus Stop
WOW days like today are the days that make it all worthwhile. Starting the day at 4am to ensure that we crossed the estuary right on low tide was truly worth getting up in the dark. With the sun just coming up over the horizon as we started across the estuary. This was both surreal and magnificent. Picture cannot do this justice it was still and silent with the silence broken every now and then by a lone crane call. From the estuary we made our way up some pastoral land and up Mount Kauri the amazing views over the estuary and the coast was more than enough reward for the steep ascent. We descended onto the beach for a 6km beach walk but unfortunately due to our pace we couldn’t dodge high tide and so couldn’t get around the pointon the beach. Instead we decided to bush bash up the side of the hill, we ended up in someone’s front yard before finally finding the trail again. After a rest for lunch we headed out to conquer Bream Head. 460m up then 250m down then up 390m then down 760m over 7.5km it was torturous. However the views were sensational.
HIGHLIGHT : Having stairs on both the incline and decline of Bream head
LOWLIGHT: Having stairs on both the incline and decline.
Let me explain, I was very grateful for stairs rather than scrabbling up and down the forrest, however it became torturous to my knees and hips after the first 300.
Grateful today to my body for hanging in there expecially coming down there where about 2500 stairs. Grateful for the glorious weather clear and cool. Grateful for being alive and experiencing this gorgeous country.