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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 17. Nov. 21st. Ngunguru to Ocean Beach. 38km.

Longest hike so far at 38km. The Horahora River crossing was closed due to a bereavement in the family of the landowners. Yet another diversion. James was gracious to drive us from his place to the start of the bypass track at the Mackerel forest track. I was in the 6.30 group. It was a cool and misty morning, the forest still absorbing all the rain from the night before. I made good progress to Pataua along the road after the forest. Then onto the estuary.

Not particularly pleasant but the tide was low. My destination had been Tidesong lodge on the estuary. I slurped through the mangrove mud and washed the knee deep mud off with a hose by the jetty at Tidesong. Nobody around. I waited a while at the tiny campsite and decided to press on to Ocean Beach.

It was a hard decision. Leaving the bubble I had been with for a few days now. Choosing a solo TA over a social TA. Crossed the estuary and caught up with Laura and Jerome and sat with them for lunch. Pressed on, with the solo TA versus social TA dilemma still on my mind. Up over Kauri mountain and then onto the beach.

Tide was full by the time I reached Ocean Beach so had to climb up the rocks for 20m to get over the ridge.

When I arrived at the tiny campsite there were already 18 tents there. This was a new bubble including some like Fitzy and Joe who I’d not seen since 90 mile beach and Kerikeri respectively. Briefly social TA again.

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