Day 15. Barefeet and Peaks. November 17, 2015.

Day 15. Barefeet and Peaks. November 17, 2015.

43.5 km
Km 369.5 to 213 Uretiti DOC campground

After a wonderful breakfast, Ros led us across the estuary. Barefoot was the way to go and at low tide it was easy.

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Looking back on the estuary we just crossed

After a short road walk thru farms we were back on the beach for 9k.

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Whangerei Heads at the end of the beach.

It was still low tide which makes beach walking so much easier.

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We had one more long beach to walk and then we headed UP to the
Whangarei Heads. This is a hike that would be worth driving to and doing as a day hike. Several peaks with great views. However there is also plenty of in the trees hiking. We were so lucky to have today’s nice weather instead of yesterday’s rain for this. The steepness of the trails here is quite amazing. My legs will either get really strong or just stop working.

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Lunch

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Almost on top of the first peak. We also climbed Lions Head which is the cone shaped peak beyond the rock.

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A short rock scramble and I'm on top.

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Almost down

Ever since Ahipara I have gotten away with carrying almost no food. The smallest stores here are called Dairys. They are really small and have ice cream, chips, snacks, candy and some food or food like substances. Some have a little bit of  fresh fruits and vegetables. Even in the bigger grocery stores I have struggled with finding food that i want to eat. I am carrying a stove because I thought it would give me more options but I haven’t used it much. The Dairys often have coffee and a grill and/or a fryer. So fish and chips, burgers, egg burgers.

Today the hike was taking longer than we expected. Like it almost always does here. The kilometers are not created equal. Sometimes I can do 5km an hour and sometimes I struggle to get 1km/hr. And I can’t tell by looking at the maps or notes.

Breakfast was great this morning but by 4pm I was starving. And then a Dairy appeared. One banana and huge bag of chips and I felt oh so much better.

Alex and Helen had decided to stop at a house that welcomed TA hikers to camp in their yard. Nathan, Brett and I kept going. After the Dairy our next problem was how to get across Whangerei Bay. In the morning it is supposedly easy to get a ride with a worker who uses a little power boat as part of his commute. When we were there they were all on their way home and going the opposite way for us. And then Duncan called out to us from his balcony. For $10 a person he would take all 3 of us over. Within a couple of minutes he was ready with his tractor and boat. We jumped in and at 5:30 we were across and walking down another beach at low tide.

Ruakaka was about 8k down the beach. Another Dairy. Dinner was a can of tuna in tomato sauce (tasted better than it sounds) and a chocolate bar.

Then we walked further down the beach to Uretiti DOC campsite (free). I needed my headlamp to set up my tent.

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We walked by this guy catching crabs

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