Day 408...Looked Up Ahead

Wednesday 7 December 2016

It was just so amazing to eventually curl up in bed last night; sleep was most certainly needed and, damn, I had been up a long time! In fact, I was too tired even to wash the salt water off. But at least I knew I would feel better the following day, and I most certainly did! What a difference! I lay still, located some internet coverage and caught up with the outside news, replied to others and then Bianca awoke.

We threw on our togs and went on to Ninety Mile Beach for a morning swim. After my wet beach landing yesterday evening, we had driven south a little to the Utea Campsite, a really lovely location, even with the local wild horses wandering through pre-dawn! A swim at low tide most certainly woke us both up, followed by a hot shower and clean clothes.

Now this is funny; Bianca decides it’s a day to wear a dress and, for the first time in a very long time, I agree to remove my leggings! Alas, no dress could be located for me, I think it got returned home in one of my bag clean outs!! So black leggings it was again for the 400th plus day. We had a great pancake breakfast, then talked to Paul at the campsite about this coast and a great chance to chat to some of the hikers who were heading off south on their epic adventure, wondering silently if their sand hiking blisters would ever heal!

Today, we had time to catch up on eating and a bit of sightseeing ourselves. North we drove. I wanted to see Cape Reinga for myself, preferably from above, seen from a bird’s eye view, before I get to paddle past. A view we undertook with all the other tourists. We found a patch up on the hill where we could just sit and study the ocean, away from the northerly wind blasting up and over the hills. We sat for near on two hours until I just had to eat, so back up the hill we climbed and headed off to a little campsite and beach where we could sit in the sun, eat, and dream that on the next paddle, I would be past this point and heading back to the East Coast.

Even when I was sitting up on that hill, looking out to sea at the Cape, I had to pinch myself and remind myself where I am; on the very northern tip of New Zealand. Wow! Incredible! Well, nearly incredible, as I am not there just yet, so hold on any congrats or celebrations. After all, I’m seriously superstitious. Bianca hinted at maybe doing some sand-dune board surfing. But, to be honest, the urge to get covered in even more sand just wasn’t there today. Maybe another day or another year.

As the clouds roll in, backed up by a strong wind, the sunshine disappears and I wonder if we will get some rain. That would be a pleasant change, for sure. We sit on top of a hill, looking out to nearly both coastlines. To my right is Great Exhibition Bay and, over the tree-clad hills, is the last section of Ninety Mile Beach. Wow, only 17.4kms from one coast to the other! How cool to be so close to each different ocean! I had never thought about it like that before.

As we head to the DOC campsite, both still tired from our previous days, I take time to just look around at this part of our country. The incredible Northland that I have never visited before. I have to thank my crazy journey for this life-changing experience. Another “wow” day! I have to thank every local we have met along these dusty roads for being so helpful, so friendly and just so damn happy.

My smiles today:
My gift of a tub of Manuka Honey. Thanks, Tania.
The local knowledge. Thanks, Paul.
Looking at my possible landings. They made me smile; soft waves.
Pancake breakfast, always good!
The tip of NZ. Totally unforgettable!
No internet or cell phone coverage. We have to smile, or throw a tantrum!
Henderson’s bacon pack. A 1 kg pack. Thanks, Ev.
Looking for a dress to wear!! Blame Bianca!

My thoughts today:
What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create.

Goodnight from Red and Bianca. 

Ma Te Wa.


View towards Cape Maria van Diemen.

View towards Cape Maria van Diemen.

View towards Sandy Bay.

View towards Sandy Bay.