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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 18. Nov. 22nd. Ocean Beach to Marsden Cove. 21km.

I was feeling the after effects of my big day from the day before. Was one of the last to leave camp. Climbing to 450m today up over Bream Head. Raining and cloud covered tops. Very slow going for me with lots of mud and no visibility because of cloud cover. I’m sure the views would have been spectacular.

Made decent time in the end and washed the mud off my legs and shoe at the first opportunity. Then on to Whangārei Heads, looking forward to fish and chips for lunch. A lady stopped and asked if I wanted a lift to Whangārei. It actually would have been a good place to take a zero day, but I was fixated on my fish and chips and politely said no. I got to Whangārei Heads and a TA’er told me they got a message to say the water taxi was about to finish because of a forecast high winds and I should hurry down to the cove as soon as possible. But I was intent on my lunch, so I ordered, and as soon as it was ready, I shoved it in my backpack and ran down to the cove, getting there a few minutes before the last water taxi for the day departed.

We sped across the harbour with the winds rising and the rain starting. I sat by the jetty, to start looking for accommodation.

But there was none to be had. seems like everyone was hunkering down before the forecasted stormy weather. I cast my net wide, and found a luxury B&B in Marsden Cove, about an hours walk off the trail. So I walked through the industrial area, trucks roaring past every minute or so. And then the storm broke with heavy rain mingled with hail. Thunder and lightning booming all around. I was soaked to the skin. Called in at a countdown to get some supplies. Hoping not to drip too much water onto the new marble floors. I was afraid the B&B would be too posh.

That they would make me stand in the garage

while I drip dried off. But the owner Ann was lovely and showed me to my room.

I was able to wash and dry all my clothes and settled in for a chill evening in a beautiful designer home.

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