Day 12. Nov. 16th. Kerikeri to Pahia. 28km.
The first few kms out from Kerikeri along the river to the Stone Store and Mission House (oldest European buildings in NZ) were lovely.
A historical theme today. Listened to all 3 episodes of the excellent RNZ podcast “NZ Wars: Stories of Tainui” about the deceitful British governor Grey and his fabrications to justify an invasion of Māori lands in the Waikato in the 1860’s. Putin and Russia repeating the same today with Ukraine. Went through a desolate logged section of the forest.
It was pleasant enough walking through the unlogged forest later, with the sun dappled gravel road covered in pine needles and the gentle breeze wafting pine scent through the trees. A little male tomtit / miromiro fretting about close by when having lunch. A roaring truck rumbled by, hauling a big yellow digger to dole out more desolation to the trees. I actually went on the old section of the trail by mistake, now closed for active logging operations and did an extra 7km in the process.
Had a wander around Waitangi grounds and the treaty house at the end but it had been a hot 28km walk and was keen to get to the campsite. Was weird being on my own after being with the same bubble of TAs for the first 10 days until Kerikeri. Managed to contact Peter who was in town so we met up for a chat. It was at this point that I realised that I’m not the staunch introvert I see myself as and, like an extrovert, need the energy of other people too. But I had taken a day off and the train / trail family (“tramily”) had moved on. Not sure if I will catch up to them again. Poured rain overnight but I was snug in my tent at Waitangi holiday park.