Dome Valley to Puhoi
Ian called out to me when he saw me come out of my cabin this morning and offered me a ride back up to the Dome Cafe. I had a nice hot and sugary coffee before setting off.
I dont want to be negative but to be honest, I did not enjoy today very much. It hardly rained but there was no sun all day so everything stayed wet. From start to finish I was soaked through. The bush tracks were overgrown with wet branches which kept my top half saturated. My rain jacket is useless. I purchased a lighter jacket to save weight which I thought would be sufficient for summer hiking. The grass in the paddocks and on some the tracks was over knee height and as I stepped through it, the water would run down my legs and into my boots. I gave up taking them off and wringing out my socks. I was dreading what my feet would look like by the end of the day. And they looked awful by the way.
The views would have been great over the valleys and into Warkworth. I got up very high again but could not see anything because the clouds were low and thick.
I rolled my left ankle slightly coming down a goat track into a valley and had to take it real easy from then on. I could not see the ground surface through the grass. It is ok now and I got away with it, I think. Will see tomorrow morning.
I arrived at Puhoi and stopped at the store. I bought two bananas, an apple, a can of coke and a chocolate bar. I got talking to a guy outside who knew a lot about the trail and how hard it can be. He works with search and rescue up north and has seen many come off the trail injured, lost or they just couldn’t cope. They are usually ill prepared with little experience. We could of talked for hours but I was dying to get out of my boots and settle in to my backpacker accommodation for the night. I carried on for another km or so to get there. Pip and her dogs greated me on the driveway. Her brother and his children turned up at the same time to stay for Christmas. The backpacker accommodation is above a barn. It has four beds with a kitchenette and some couches. I have it to myself tonight. A composting toilet and the shower is in the main house. I desperately needed to wash all my clothes so Pip let me use the washing machine. I had a shower and then settled in as the rain started to come down. Pip gave me three eggs from her chickens for my breakfast.
There is some serious rain forecast for tomorrow and the tides are wrong for my rock scrambling around to Orewa so I will need to stick to the roads. If it is not raining in the morning then I will be able to kayak from Puhoi to Wenderholm Park which is an option for the trail. Pip lends her kayaks out. She told me a group of three girls did it in the rain recently and were nearly hypothermic when she met them at the other end.