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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 16. Nov. 20th. Whananaki to Ngunguru. 26km.

Completely losing track of the day of the week and the date. Haven’t looked at the news in two weeks, a big change from what was a daily obsession. On the trail, it is literally day to day with lots of time to contemplate. Am listening to audio books less and am content to walk, feel, eat, sleep and wonder. Am not religious but am using the time to explore. Was a lovely sunny morning.



The first section past secluded beaches and hilly farmland was idyllic. Am trying to savour the idyllic more, before I join the ever present road sections.



But road sections have their charm too. Like the smell of seawater from a downpour evaporating on hot tarmac. Feeling my fitness increasing. Thunder clouds and broody sky proclaim much rain to come. Got to Ngunguru just as the sky exploded with thunder, lightning and downpours. Sheltered a bit in the porch of an abandoned house. The three TAs ahead of me were huddled under the canopy in front of the small store.



News came that James the ferryman was delayed by a family emergency so we waited a few hours in a cafe before the boat trip, taking three at a time, over to James’ beautiful and serene Nikau Bay camp across the estuary.



Downpour started again and James managed to find bunks for all 15 of us.



A nice evening hanging out again with this lovely bubble, chatting and playing some darts.



A coffee plant with red berries glistened in the rain in the midst of banana plants. The eco lodge is a work of rustic art, all care and attention while remaining authentic.



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

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