It was a big road climb to start (about 7km), then onto a forest track before heading out and down a very long, very steep gravel road. My temperamental right leg wasn't happy about it, but the sun was trying to come out which made it all better.
I finally got to the bottom, crossed the road and surprise, surprise headed up again, this time into farmland. Steep ups and downs along the fence lines. The cows and sheep weren't quite sure about my walking poles and we're happy to give me a wide berth.
After deciding to stop for lunch at the top of the hill several times, I stopped half way down for a quick bite and a magic pill to try and get my leg through the afternoon.
The afternoon coast walk followed the cliff line - sunshine, turquoise water, gnarly trees, good track makes for a happy pigeon. Favourite walk day so far.
Down to the beach for a short walk around to Mangawhai Heads - milkshake stop- then last 5kms to the caravan park.
Alex was reading the trail notes for the track in a couple of days time- slippery, steep, muddy, care required etc - not looking forward to it.