Monday, 16 November 2015

Day 17 - Mackenzie Bay to Waipu Cove (TA 425) - 22km plus 12 with the medical corp!

The journey across Whangerei Harbour is part of the trail, but it's kind of 'open' as to how you get across. We got a lift with David who said he'd ferry us across for a donation. David was a kind soul - he picked us up from Dougie's place to save us an hours walk, he was well organised with life jackets (even gave us a bit of a safety brief about how to use them).  I managed to catch my leg on some oyster shells before we left and his first aid kit was very impressive!  David took us right into Marsden Point Wharf where there was a cafe. We all needed a hot drink after our strenuous effort of being ferried around all morning.

We had planned our route to avoid an estuary crossing that people were having to organise kayaks for (you needed to give 24 hours notice). With an incoming tide, we didn't think it was worth going to check it out. The trouble with that, especially when the road route seems to go on forever, is that you start thinking 'Maybe we should have tried to get across.' Just before we turned back towards the coast, a car stopped to chat. It was the guy who supplies the kayaks to TA walkers. He said that we had made the right decision as the river was running high (that is you had to swim)  with a strong current.

Validation is always empowering.

Once we got back to the coast it was a 6km walk before hitting the road to WAIPU.
I was coming off the beach and stopped to take my shoes off and empty the sand. A man stopped to have a chat and asked about where I was walking. He was heading up the coast but offered to take me to Waipu as it wasn't far back down the road. His name was Greg and he was part of a medical corp. he had been to some amazing (and scary) places helping people. He was likely to be heading to Fiji with the Red Cross or to Syria next. Instead of taking me just to Waipu, he gave me a lift all the way to Waipu Cove.

I grabbed a kitchen cabin and then texted Alex and Harriet to say that I'd got one. I headed down to the beach to give my feet a good dose of salt water. Many kms in wet shoes makes your skin very soft and easier for it to wear away. The salt water bloody stung!
Shower next and was just washing out my undies when Harriet and Alex arrived.

'Did you get a lift off the beach?'

I just smiled.

Pigeon xx

These are the mountains we crossed yesterday

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