Sep 18 day 18 Mangawhai Village to Pakiri Camp 23 km 7:45-1:00
Short day, resting for what looks to be a difficult couple of days ahead. Pretty much a two surface hike–road to beach, then beach to the end (a brief up and over a point at Te Arai). Started out in the pouring rain, though it does not much bother me when starting out if I’ve got a pack cover, rain pants, and coat deployed from the start. Met two other thruhikers– Pierre and Sophie who were camped at Te Arai and who later stayed at the Holiday Camp. Minimal excitement on this track except having to ford three rivers, each mid-thigh deep. It takes a bit to find a good spot to cross. The water is not always clear enough to acertain depth. On getting to the middle and largest river, I found a woman, A—– on the other side. She was checking the DOC pest traps and also monitoring bird nesting habits. She kicked off her boots, dropped her pants, and waded out in just her knickers, noting on crossing that the water did not get to her crotch. Had a good talk about the nesting of the Oyster Catchers, and the problems of motorbikes on the dunes. The rest of the trek was just more beach–beautiful but monotonous after a bit. Stopped in early at the Pakiri Camoground, made for a short day, but got clean and dry, missed a large afternoon shower. Tomorrow the hills will be mud, a difficult challenge.