Te Araroa Trail – Day 20-21

Saturday & Sunday, November 18 -19, 2023
Distance/ Total: 14.5 km / 9.0 mi

A light rain moved in over night with just enough rain to make things damp. Jamie and I packed up slowly and got on trail about 8:20am.

The trail started on a single track but was only about 0.5 km before turning out onto a gravel road. It was a steep downhill toward Bream Head and was freed enough to make my knees start hurting.

When the trail reached the valley it turned off the road onto a nice gravel path along a creek for a short distance before returning to a road walk. The road walk began climbing upwards through some farmland and eventually came to a gate across the drive. The trail continued past the gate and then turned off into farm fields and meandered up and down a few hills. As I began crossing the fields the rain returned and although windy was not a real heavy rain.

The final hill in the farmland was nearly straight up and was wet from the rain. I came to a Kauri wash station signifying entry into a Kauri forest and cleaned my shows off under the covered roof. Jamie soon joined me and we walked through the Kauri forest together.

The trail then reached the coast high on a cliff and the trail turned to follow the coastline along the side of the hill. About 2km along the bluff trail dropped downward on several steps and reached the beach.

It was about 1km walk along the beach but we were reaching high tide and had to do some scrambling and timing our passage around some rocks. I under estimated the waves at one point and ended up in ankle deep water. After the rocks it was an easy walk to the surf club and back up o to roads in Mangawhai Heads.

The trail followed a few roads and along the Mangawhai Harbor as we circled around to the south side of the city. The trail then took us back onto roads and we stopped at a shopping center to eat some lunch.

It was a short 10 minute walk to the hostel from the shops and we arrived there before 1:30. I showered, washed clothes, and spent the afternoon updating blogs. Matt joined us about 5:00pm and we all went out for pizza and beer for dinner.

Sunday was a true rest day where I did practically nothing. I did get out to the grocery store and picked up my 3 day resupply to Puhoi, but that was about all I did all day.

I fixed chicken tacos at the hostel and Jamie and Matt supplied the beer, chips, and ice cream. We enjoyed a nice dinner together.

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