Ahipara to Kaitaia
A well deserved break today and time to reflect. What an awesome adventure so far. It has been so much more than I expected and in so many ways. I do not have as much time on my hands as I thought I would. I am walking longer hours than I expected. Lots of little chores take up my time like setting up camp, making food, unpacking and packing my bag 10 times a day, filtering water, hygiene, foot care and always planning ahead. I am learning how to pack my bag the most efficient way so I can access the most frequently used gear while keeping my weight distribution where it needs to be.
I have checked into the Northerner Hotel in Kaitaia. Dad is joining me for a few days on the trail and so booked the room for tonight before we start off tomorrow morning. I will make most of the luxuries as I will be roughing it again tomorrow night. At least the weather forecast looks to be improving finally.
It will be good to have some company for a few days with dad. We always have plenty to talk about. We will catch a ride 5kms down the road to avoid walking state highway one. It is recommended not to walk on that particular stretch as it is very dangerous. From there we will hike to the base of Raetea Forest and camp the night. The following day we will attempt to cross over it. It is a notoriously difficult section of trail and will be muddy after all this rain. It is likely we will only make it to the summit and camp there and then the following day continue to Mangamuka. Dad will hitch from there and I will continue on into Omahuta Forest.
I got a ride in to Kaitaia this morning. There have been several reports of dog attacks along that road. Almost every hiker has been attacked by groups of dogs and some even hospitalised with bite wounds so I was not prepared to take that risk. I reported it to the council before I left and they said they would deal with it but I do not know if it has been sorted.
It is still early days but I have learnt so much already. I am starting to feel more confident while knowing there are still many challenges ahead.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.“ – T.S. Eliot