Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Day 4: Licking my Wounds in Ahipara

So, I've developed a bit of a routine, as you would expect by now. Basically, on waking up I work on my feet and legs. I've even got a special jar with vasaline to lube my feet (to reduce friction, obviously) with attached probe to lance and drain blisters.
I eat a candy bar (Moro, snickers etc) to get going while I break camp. Last to come down is my tarp so I stay dry as long as I can before walking. I am on the trail around 7am, and snack about every hour, coinciding with a brief stop to air my feet and stare at the waves...
My snack is a special concoction of m&ms, biltong, dried fruit and salted nuts. Yummo! I go through 300 grams of this each day.
Around midday I stop for my lunch meal of cheese, crackers and salami. Then it's walking until around 5.30 pm when I start looking for a camp. Once found, my tarp and hammock go up first, then my cooker to heat water while I tend to my feet and get changed into my night clothes. Dinner is homemade or bought dehydrated dinner and licorice tea. I'm in bed by 7.30, reading (at the moment) Mike Smith's History of New Zealand on my iPhone.
So, that's the routine! Back to walking...
Today,finally, Ahipara hove into view!
Which made me quite happy so I had a celebratory howl, as you do.
I'm now ensconced at the Ahipara Holiday Camp, have rigged my hammock  in a tent campsite and am enjoying conversation and a few drinks with other campers- woofers from Colorado, a bloke surfing and skiing NZ from San Francisco, a family from Masterton... Nice to have company! The rare discussion with someone else while walking 90 Mile Beach went something like this. 'So, you're walking to Bluff?' 'Yep, sure am.' 'Must be pretty awesome looking at those waves for all that time, eh?' 'Well, to be fair I think I was starting to crack up. I was talking to myself a while back.' He, with a faraway look in his eyes: 'Yeah, been there bro.' I think that was the longest conversation I had with someone else! So, having checked out the local store I stocked up on anti-inflamatories, more plasters, and a bit more food to see me the approximately 8 days cross-country through the Herekino and Raetea forests to Kerikeri, another 115 km on top of the 101 km walked so far. On reflection, I went at it too fast for my body to adjust to sand walking, so I paid the price and am now nursing a couple of minor strains and blisters. Nothing to worry about but a timely reminder to show respect for the trail and walk my own walk without putting undue pressure on myself. Lesson learned, I hope! I am looking forward to changing shoes to my slightly larger and airier Salomons when I pick up the box I mailed to myself in Kerikeri. I wonder what the bush has in store for me?


  1. Nice work Pat! Really enjoying the blog and photos! Good luck and keep looking after your feet. Emma :)

  2. Yes indeed, always good to respect the trail!:-) each day you'll meet a new challenge but I know you're up to them all!

  3. Be happy with 1 km per hour in Ratea Forest

  4. By the way, ur trail mix looks yummy! You have always been a master in trail food and trail mix! :-)

  5. Pleased to hear your progress thus far thru the forest is going well!!!