Day 1

Cape Reinga to Twilight Beach


Total 12km

The first day has been much more challenging than I expected considering it was only 12kms. I had not anticipated the rain and wind which got worse as the day went on. I arrived at Twilight Beach campsite and thought I had the place to myself until I put my bag down under the shelter and noticed Merek from the Chech Republic asleep on the concrete floor. I later found out he lost his tent while hitch hiking a few days ago.

Not long after, a couple arrived at camp looking very wet. They were sheep and cattle farmers from Waiotira and had taken a few days off to hike from Spirits Bay to Te Paki stream. The rain was coming down hard and I hadn’t done much about setting up camp, apart from scanning the clearing for a flat spot out of the wind.

The four of us sat and chatted on and off for a few hours. Merek was very well traveled for a 28 year old and had lots of interesting stories. The lady from Waiotira (need to get better at remembering names) told me both her parents suffer from Alzheimer’s so she was interested in my story.

Later in the evening three more guys turned up. We had a quick chat then I headed to my tent as it was getting a bit crowded and not much dry space with the wind driving in the rain on one side.

Then I was alone again, wet, cold and crammed into the worlds smallest tent with all my gear and I went into some state of shock about what hell I’d gotten myself into. I actually felt physically ill and wondered if maybe I was getting sick or caught a bug. I think I really was in a bit of shock. I was struggling with the idea of being away from my family for so long and the magnitude of the journey ahead of me. I dont think I have ever been so anxious. But these emotions are something I have prepared myself for so I knew I needed to overcome it (aka harden up!).

I decided to get out of my tiny tent and walk it off. I’m glad I did this because on my way back I joined everyone else who were standing together, looking out over the ocean and admiring the sunset. The sky had cleared a bit and it looked amazing. I didnt have enough time to get my camera. I got talking to Merek and the farmer again and had a few laughs, got back in my tiny tent and felt normal again. I checked my trail notes for the next day and made a plan. And then I remembered what dad had said to me only hours before when I set off, “One foot in front of the other”. I started thinking positive and even excited.

The walk was awesome from Cape Reinga. The trail was fairly well marked. Most of the kms were the two beaches, Te Werahi and Twilight. There were peach coloured dunes, cliffs and great views out to Cape Maria Van Diemen. A few kms of Flax and Manuka scrublands. Coming down onto Twilight Beach I was shocked by the amount of rubbish that had been washed up into the sand banks and along the beach. All plastics of various descriptions and heaps of fishing ropes/nets.

Ok, I’m ready for 90 Mile Beach tomorrow! 28kms from here to Maunganui Bluff.


3 thoughts on “Day 1

  1. Pingback: New Zealand's Te Araroa Trail - Wild Walking UK

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