Sep 13 day 13 free camp on Morepork Trail to Ngunguru Village 35 km 7:00-4:30
A day of big vistas. The morning hike out the Morepork trail was uneventful, but full of twists and turns, quick changing environment and had to concentrate hard on following path and finding the orange plastic triangles that serve as the blazes for the TA. Even with close attention, I missed the last turn, and had to cut across a farmers field, maneuvering over electric fences and around a herd of steers– poor guys, soon on their way to a burger joint near you. After coming down off the ridge, I first followed out the Whananaki estuary, crossing a long, narrow, old wooden bridge. I walked slowly and carefully, only to turn at the end to see a pack of young boys flying across it on bicycles — youth and fearlessness. Then I found myself hiking a series of tracks that ducked in and out of all these magnificent sandy coves, many with beautiful or just sort of funky beach houses. Stopped at the Matapouri General Store for some lunch and a cup of coffee to gird myself for the last 13 k in the run through an old forest track to Ngunguru. Rewarded myself for back to back 30+days with a stay in a motel I really could not afford but also didn’t want to pass up. Will try to sleep in a bit because tomorrow starts with a long road walk (brutal on old knees).