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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 2. Nov. 6th. Twilight Beach campsite to Maunganui Bluff campsite. 29km.

Up and away early. Anxious that this is the first really big day. Along sandstone track and low scrub, over Scott’s Point before going onto the beach proper. Then a very long stretch along the beach, unbroken apart from crossing the occasional stream. Very hot. Was very glad to finally arrive at Maunganui Bluff campsite. The campsite was again very basic but had the luxury of a cold shower and lots of space. Met up with Tony, Lisa Jane and Magdelana again, having started chatting with them at Twilight.

After my lovely swim at Twlight, I was looking forward to another. The big breaking waves and surging white horses should have been a stark warning. But I went anyway, near a rocky outcrop linked to the beach via a sandbar. Went in up to my waist and joyously dived under to cool my head. Before I knew it, I was caught in a back surge and pulled way out. Tried to swim but it was impossible. Was maybe 10m from the rocks and used the lulls in the surge to slowly make my way towards the rocks, all the while thinking “so it began, is this how it ends?”. Finally got a grip on the rocks but was immediately blown off by thundering waves. After a few more attempts, managed to scurry up onto the sharp mussel covered rocks and out of danger. Would have been unfortunate to have drowned on my second day so was very relieved indeed. Nobody has seen me go in. No mobile coverage. My empty tent would probably have stood waiting for my return for days before anyone noticed. Sobering. Shaken but not stirred. I felt surprisingly calm about it but grateful for my continuance. So the trail continues for another day.

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