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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 1. Nov. 5th. Cape Reinga to Twilight Beach campsite. 13km

Got a lift with Greg from Tuatua rentals at 9am from Kaitaia to Cape Reinga. Today was Ride to the Cape motorbike fundraiser so lots of bikers on the road to gather at Arwanui. Lisa, myself and another guy from Maine, USA were in the car. Learnt lots from Greg on the way, like you can’t eat the many wild turkeys in the area after mid December as they gorge on crickets. Christmas turkey self preservation 😊. I stayed a while at Cape Reinga to contemplate on the spiritual significance of the place and reflect on my late wife Ann, nearly 8 years now since her passing. The day was beautiful with a rolling azure sea and white foaming breakers. The quiet rumble of surf on rock. Only a few other TA’ers starting. So it begins. Finally on the trail. Down the long track to the beach. Across the first long beach, sand drifting in the strong breeze like spirits making their way north. Me covered head to toe against the heat of the sun. Fit for the Sahara I was. Worrying about blisters and how this first section would go. Then first lunch stop by a stream before continuing up over yellow and white sandstone and a riot of rocky colour. First camp at Twlight Campsite. Quite a few already there. Maybe 20 or so stayed. The camp was very basic, but water, a long drop and a shelter is all you really need. Meeting other TA’ers for the first time. Kiwis definitely in the minority on the trail. First pitch of my tent on the trail. So many firsts but with so much excitement and anticipation too. Went for a lively cooling swim on the beach below the campsite. We all gathered to watch to sun go down and could our blessings in our different ways.

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I've started to just post on Instagram at for now and will backfill after the trail. Thanks for following me on my journey.


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