Day 21 – Mangawhai Heads to Pakiri

November 8, 2016

km traveled today: 26

total TA km: 476

We started our morning on Dawn’s front lawn, the lovely woman who allowed us to stay at her home for the evening. Our group plodded down the road through a whipping wind to yet another Four Square, where we picked up only our second bottle of menthylated spirits. (We also made use of these incredible talking toilets, that played us a light jazz tune while we relieved ourselves). 

From there we had a short couple of km to the beach we would be walking on for the majority of the day.

 Pretty good beach walking, solid enough sand, and only a few stream/river crossings. 

We had lunch in an abandoned roofless shack we spotted upwards into the dunes, and were able to vanquish the last bit of the luncheon meat we had purchased in lieu of our typical pepperoni meat sticks. No small task. After lunch we made quick work of the sandy beach walking, which was only made annoying by the occasional burst of wind, which would whip gritty sand at you every so often. 

Finally we reached our last river/stream crossing, one the trail notes foolishly included very little warning or info on. It was remarkably wide and seemed quite deep. I volunteered to wade out and test the chilly water’s depth, stripping down to just my shorts and easing my way into the cold brackish flow.

 To our delight/dismay, the water came up to about chin level on me (I’m 6 feet tall) granted, it was high tide. Jasper and I were excited to make the aquatic swim crossing while Sam and Will were less so. The plan was to hoist your pack up over your head, resting on top occasionally/if able, and wading to the other side. 

Jasper and I employed the strategy where I would cross with my pack first, he with only his shoes and poles, so he would be able to assist me if needed. Our second trip went the same way, only with reversed roles. Success, we thought, but getting the hydrophobic Will and Sam across would be a slightly different matter. It took a bit of coaxing, but Sam paired with Jasper and began to wade, while Will and I would make a go of it as a team. What with the tide coming in increasingly, and my slight height advantage over Will, it was decided that I would carry Will’s pack as we made our way across the deepening river. By now, at its deepest point, the water was deeper than chin level, forcing me at one point to actually have to swim while hoisting Will’s pack desperately above my head. Luckily, we were able to make it across while keeping Will’s pack completely dry! 

Almost immediately after the crossing, we were greeted by the holiday park here in Pakiri, where we payed the $15 pp fee to set up tents. I also bought a candy bar for myself, as I felt it was well deserved. 

The holiday park is nice, good facilities and a store, where we purchased a few small items for our next stretch. Jasper prepared a spicy curry rice meal for dinner, after which we enjoyed our nightly game of Hearts. I currently have the lead, and intend to maintain it until we reach Bluff.


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