Wednesday 2 November 2016
Nat and I wanted to go for a hike together, so the alarm was set for a stupidly early hour and we were actually driving towards the Kaniwhaniwha Tracks by 7.30am, goofing it along the track to do the Nikau Walk, the caves, and then on to the tallest Kahikatea tree. My backpack is loaded with food and drink and we have our rain jackets on. The track is fairly wide and just a little wet as we start. As normal, we dodge the puddles and the softer muddy sections, trying to keep our feet dry. Although this got somewhat more difficult as we got further into the walk. We located the caves and squeezed our way in and through the narrow sections, popping out the other side way too quickly. We were both convinced that we had missed the biggest cave so had to go back and have another look. But no, we seemed to have located the correct caves.
By this stage, our attempt to keep our feet dry and our shoes mud-free had started to fail! The track didn’t improve any and the mud and the depth of it only got deeper in certain parts. Then it was “Oh, bugger this!” and there was no further attempt to dodge any of it. We just walked straight along and through the rest of the mud as there was absolutely no point in trying to side-step anything. A lot of the time, there was a lack of birdsong which was a little disappointing but maybe it was because of the wind and the rain. We did manage to locate a favourite of ours, a swing bridge, which entertained us both for a while. Then it was up, up, up a ridge line before we realised we had missed the turn to the huge Kahikatea tree. Back down the ridge we went and a quick right turn had us at the base of the sixty-five metre tall tree. It was so tall, in fact, that it was hard to take a full lengthwise picture which was a shame. Had it been in flower now, it would have been even more impressive.
We sat and ate a late breakfast until we got a little chilly sitting, so got on the track heading back towards our vehicles. By this stage it was mud, mud, glorious mud all the way; with both Nat and myself nearly losing a shoe each at least once. But Nat assured me that the mud here was nothing compared to the Doughboy Track she hiked on Stewart Island! Once off the muddy sections, we both stood in the creek to try and rinse out our shoes, something which worked fairly well. Like most hikes we have been on, we seemed to get faster and finished the hike far quicker than the recommended time.
Then Nat was in her trusty ute, heading back to Auckland for the start of work tomorrow, while I got into Cuzzie and drove to watch the Raglan surfers in action. Not many in the Manu Beach break today but it was good just sitting and watching them enjoying the stormy waves and, for as far as the eye could see, the Raglan bar looked very nasty indeed today. Now the rain has stopped and again I have the back doors of Cuzzie flung open wide. There’s no freedom camping in Raglan, so back I went to the local campsite tonight. Emails written and lots of phone chats and things sorted. I’m still waiting on a weather window but the wonderful thing is that I now have time to catch up with more friends and, for me, that is an incredible feeling. Thanks everybody, I love hearing from you all. Fingers crossed for sunshine soon. At the moment, I can’t even see a paddle day, so Raglan has me for a while, apart from being away for a few days doing a couple of short reconnaissances just a little further north. After that, it will be up to the support crew to do the Auckland West Coast reconnaissance as, not for the life of me, am I wanting or going to be driving in and through Auckland! As far as I’m concerned, it’s a “no go” zone until I complete this journey.
My smiles today:
Hiking with Nat.
Younger thoughts are always cool.
The campsite’s resident Paradise Duck.
Swing-bridge jumping (oops!).
Surfing. Maybe I need to learn!
Calm and patient again today.
My thoughts today:
A great attitude becomes a great mood; which becomes a great day; which becomes a great year; which becomes a great life.
Have a great night, from Red and Cuzzie.
Ma Te Wa.
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