Sep 20 day 20 dome Cafe to Puhoi 27 km 8:30-3:00
Got a bit of a late start because I walked up from the Sheep World Campgrounds, to the Dome Cafe for another meal and some great conversation with the couple who run it. Both so kind and peaceful. Had delicious Eggs Benedict and coffee before pulling on my wet muddy shoes for another day’s slog. Even though it rained off and on, it was a good day. Not much road walking, but a lot of old forest roads that were well drained, so only a few kilometers of slipping and sliding. Pretty uneventful walk, but a wonderful ending. 11 or 12 years ago I was driving (with the family) from Whangerai back to Auckland. It was lunch time so we pulled off at this little village that had a beautiful pub by a river with a large green lawn. I remember thinking that it was a nearly perfect place. You can imagine how my dampened spirits rose when I came down off the hill, crossed the bridge and realized that I was in the same place. Walked into the pub in the midst of the Sunday dinner rush, and Amigo (the manager) looked up and said of course they had a room for me. I was soon unpacked, showered, and seated near a fire tucking into a great hot dinner. The place is still nearly perfect.