Final 90 mile beach day. Was intending to camp at Ahipara after Waipapakauri but made good progress, so decided to hitch or catch a shuttle to Kaitaia instead. I had the beach to myself today.
Sat for a while by the beach reflecting on my first section. First 100km done. Only a small blister on my right pinkie. Very relieved. Definitely singing the praises of Gourney Goo to prevent blisters. Wouldn’t be seeing the beach again for a while, so savoured the moment.
Caught the minibus to Kaitaia as advised in the trail notes, to avoid a dangerous and narrow road. Was dropped of at the very modest Loredo motel.
Going into an actual room with a hot shower was again bliss. Little things, big joy. Went down to the Beachcombers backers to join Tony and Lisa to get our takeaway.
Fish and chips. We were joined by a delightful couple from Montana only a week in the country. The woman never had fresh fish before. Went back to hang out at beachcombers backpackers to chat, plan and catch up on tales from the trail. Met a TA guy that was done. An experienced tramper and mountaineer who was bettered by blisters and was waiting to catch the bus back to Auckland. A salutary tale. Nothing ever taken for granted.