Sep 16 day 16 McLeod Bay to Waipu Cove 30 km. 8:30- 3:00 (part by boat)
Today started much better. A sleepless night near a road–once again cars kept me up much of the night, but on rising, packing up, I noticed the The Deck cafe, which had been closed last night, was well lit, and I was soon tucking into eggs, bacon and coffee. After last night’s pack of ramen supper, it was pure delight. I then wandered down to the jetty to wait for the boat to take me across, spending a pleasant quarter hour talking with a woman walker and long-time resident of McLeod Bay about the changes over time in the village, and also how the footpaths were all being staircased. She doesn’t like them. I tend to agree, until I think back on the Herekino Forest track which could have used something, anything, to make the trail more stable and walkable. In a bit Steve Martinovitch picked me up in the Cara-J, a 38 foot cruiser he built himself– wood with fiberglass sheathing– over three years in his spare time. For the last 18 years, he has been running it as a fishing and charter boat. He too noted the changes in the area, particularly on the bay with the construction of the large (and only) oil refinery in NZ. After a throughly pleasant boat ride, he gave me ride into town so I could get money from a bank ATM (my card does not work in rural ATMs and so is a sometimes source of anxiety). Resupplied at a good grocery store (also a rare commodity on the trail) and hiked the beach down to Waipu, a wonderful little village originally populated by Scots (there is an amazing old cemetery just south of town). I had a good lunch (with salad!!) before heading down south to the campground at Waipu Cove where I got a hot shower (pure luxury) and finally did my laundry (more luxury).