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The Longest Stretch

Ninety Miles of dead flat sand. While it’s named Ninety Mile Beach it’s actually closer to 55 miles (88km) long. I’ve walked lengthy beaches in the past but I’ve never faced so many miles of sand in one stretch as I have now. I thought it might be a monotonous hike but there is plenty to see along the way. Add to this a simple luxury,  . . . time to actually think.

After a few hours of walking on hard sand I felt my legs really tightening up. A couple of days of hiking on the beach the slope of the beach made my left hip really sore so I compensated for this by taking out the padding from inside my left boot. This helped a great deal but I could only feel the difference a few hours later.

After a while of walking on the beach it seemed as though the land was drifting backwards beneath my feet. Kind of like being on a treadmill but with ever-changing scenery. Then suddenly a beached seal appears. I thought it was hurt or dead but when I called over to Gordon the seal raised its eyes in response. We got up close him and he didn’t seem to mind us being there. We were concerned that a vehicle might drive by and flatten him out, so after taking some photos of it we encouraged it to make a dash for the ocean. We think it might have been warming itself on the sand in the sun. Not a safe place for a seal to sun-bake with all the high-speed traffic on the beach.

Not long after we saw the seal a stingray appeared on the sand near the water. The outgoing tide must have left it stranded? It was great to see it close up and it had a very unusual dolphin shaped mouth.

I really enjoyed watching Gordon give the 4WD a good workout whilst I headed south. Every now and then he would drive up some really steep dune bank or scream past me while throwing the car into a crazy handbrake turn. I’ve never seen a car spin multiple times across algae. I think the seagulls were enjoying the entertainment too by the look of it.

I’ll miss the sound of the ocean whilst walking along. The sunsets over the ocean have been spectacular too. So ninety kilometers of sand later, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the beach. With a little more time on my hands I’ll be back another day.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Frith #

    I felt entertained reading your blog as usual…. what an adventure! …. the surprises keep coming!

    Thursday 20 October, 2011
    • Hi Frith. Yes, there have been many surprises along the way which is always welcome. I’m really enjoying everyday being so new and different. Bye for now and hope all is well back home.

      Thursday 27 October, 2011
  2. Mel #

    Wow this is an amazing photo! The trek must be such a great experience. Taking in breathtaking views while navigating your own way, as well as keeping fit! Can see why you’re doing it. Have fun!

    Sunday 23 October, 2011
    • Hi Mel! It sure was a great feeling to get started on this trek and a couple of weeks in I’m still excited. Pity my heels can’t keep up with me. Still on my blister rest stop and enjoying it whilst it lasts. I took a short loop walk yesterday through a scenic forest in Kerikeri township which took me down to the river. It’s easy walking with sandals on for the meantime. I’ll be back in the boots and on the trail again shortly. Bye for now.

      Thursday 27 October, 2011

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