Sep 12 day 12 free camp near Waikare to free camp on Morepork Trail 32 km 6:30-4:30
Although I thought I pitched my tent past the last house, there was one more just across the stream and, as it was Friday night, they had a small party, with cars coming and going until after midnight. Needless to say, I did not sleep well. Really was not sure if my tent was visible from the road. Got up at daybreak, broke camp as silently as I could so as not to disturb the dogs, crossed the ford, and was putting on my shoes at the other side when I heard the cars start up. I crossed the stile into the woods just a bit before they passed– did not really want to explain where I had camped as it probably was on their land. First part of hike was fun but hard– 4k straight up a stream. Once again it felt like the movie The River Queen. Then, as the TE so often does, I ended up with a whole lot of road walking, linking up the different forest tracks. Was not a lot of fun since there was Saturday traffic and the roads were narrow. Had lunch at Helena Bay– there were three elderly couples there having a picnic and had a good chat with them. Then walked past Teal bay, both very beautiful spots. The mid afternoon hike was on a gravel walkway past some magnificent pastureland with the ocean in the distance. Later in the day, I got to the next woodland trail, Morepork trail (think it is because they have wild pigs there) hiked in few k and pitched my tent in the woods, far from any cars tonight. Good day, but tired feet. Crawled into my sleeping bag to get warm at about 6:00. Read a brief while, and went straight to sleep.