I could see Gareth up ahead and eventually caught him - we walked together for a good while before I stopped to take my pack off and have a snack. He was a good walking buddy - similar pace and interesting to talk to. Gareth is walking to raise money for Foster Kids New Zealand and he was off to talk to some kids about what he was doing when he got into Ahipara.
The anti-inflammatories did their job and my shin held up for the distance. I think I will be able to start the Northern Forests tomorrow as planned but I will ask my shin tomorrow first. It's funny I had been really nervous about the forests but now am keen to start. I actually quiet enjoyed Ninety Mile Beach but will be happy not to walk on sand for a bit. Slippery, muddy, steep tracks will be a nice change!
Ahipara Backpackers is super. Clean with good facilities. Did my washing and then went down to the new cafe (bad blogger can't remember the name) and had a great lunch of zucchini and corn fritters with a banana smoothie. Met up with Henrietta and Alex again and also met Stefan (from Australia) who was having a rest day due to bad feet (infected blister).
At 1:45 I had a job interview sitting on the grass in the lawn daisies by the side of the road. Really. I'd put in for a different job at work and received an email saying that I had progressed to interview. I was on my way back to the YHA when the phone call came through. It was funny though, the panel asked the first question and my mind was blank, I could feel my brain fishing around inside my head in the dark for the work switch. Brain found it, switched it on and I made it through the interview.
Food sorted. Washing dry. Dinner done. Northern Forests tomorrow (perhaps)
PS Cafe is called North Drift