Feeling a little shell shocked by the emotions of day one, lack of sleep and sand getting into absolutely everything, I was keen to get moving. We had actually made a water drop for me so I didn't have to carry all the water for two days when I started - it was 9km away and so I planned to have a break in the trees and de-sand everything then. It was another stunner of a day and I really enjoyed the walk to the water drop. I found it easy enough thanks to my GPS app and Pete's stick! Had a cuppa and re-packed everything.
Next leg was to the Bluff (no not that Bluff!) - a place on the Ninety Mile Beach where the coast line bends a little. Having said that I wasn't finding the beach walking monotonous and featureless- there were definite markers that you could gauge your progress by. The first had been Matipia Island which has a hole in it, the second was the Bluff, even the dunes themselves were varied and gave you points of difference along the way. My feet were feeling it by the time I got to the Bluff. The camp site there is run down and the toilets have been vandalised, but there was grass so I was keen to get my shoes off! As I was walking in I spooked a herd of wild horses. The stallion was pretty keen to sus out what I was up to, but once he decided I was going to leave them alone they all relaxed and went about their business. It was pretty awesome just to witness how they interacted and the herd dynamics.
I had intended to wait for the turn of the tide before staring again but got fidgety. Went about 8 more km and promised my feet we'd find a place out of the sand for the night. This took a bit of doing as the forest was now about 800m beyond the dunes and bordered by a thick scrub of lupine, pig face and rushes. I ended up following horse tracks and set up camp in a spot where they crossed into the forest. The horse poo was dry and old, but as I'd seen the herd earlier, I was a bit concerned that they might come that way during the night, so I hung up a rubbish bag on a tree at the front of the tent and a dry bag at the back so they would see the scary shoo-horse bags first.
The time between walking and the sun setting is tough. I was very tired and had gotten too much sun, my legs were sore, dinner was yucky, the horses were going to trample me during the night, I was lonely and wanted to go home. There was no way I was going to get any sleep.
Next thing it was 5:20 am.