I got into Orewa just before lunch after a longer than expected walk in from Puhoi. The route took me along the beaches and around the rock platforms and navigating the rocks took a lot more time than I thought it would. One, because they went on forever, and two because they weren't that easy to pick a progressive path on so I had to do some backtracking.
I left the Puhoi pub at around 7:30, planning to hit the general store for breaky. No one was up when I left and all the exits were dead locked so I followed my nose out through the kitchen and found a black door - freedom.
Walked down to the store and who should be there but Nancy and Nathan - super hikers! I laughed and told them not to ask me how I got there and then proceeded to tell them I skipped a bit. They just laughed and told me that the section I missed did have some real shitty bits and they didn't make it all the way out and ended up setting up camp at 9:00pm! That was the best first aid for guilt at skipping a bit that I could have had - these two can and do clock 50kms a day so it must have been pretty tough going at times. Gave them a hug and a head start - can't imagine I will catch them again unless I do some more strategic journeying!
I'm actually in my tent tonight as most of Orewa is booked out due to some concert in Auckland. That must mean I'm getting close to the capital which seems a little unreal. It once seemed so far away and now I'm just about there.
My buddy Majella will join me in Auckland - we've been talking about rejigging the journey a bit.
Ps My sanctuary from the rain has been invaded by a couple of fellows who came in, turned on the tele, proceeded to chat and not watch it. Sigh! Lucky am up to date.
PPS Last night there was a huge storm - fierce winds, pouring rain, thunder and lightning. I abandoned my tent around midnight and headed back to my sanctuary with sleeping bag in tow. Much less scary under the table!