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Ocean Beach

My tent was pretty close to the main road so after packing up it wasn’t long before I was making good ground. I had breakfast whilst walking to make up for the slow progress yesterday. My pack would be lighter if I’d had eaten dinner last night. I’ll stop and have a double dinner along the way somewhere.

I reached the small town of Pataua and enjoyed a long lunch under a tree which provided shelter from the brief heavy showers. Was nice to see the bridge at Pataua after seeing it in many photos. James, whom I met yesterday, wrote a message on my map for a friend of his (Peter) that lived on the south side of this bridge.

I found out where his friend Peter stayed and he and his wife Megan invited me in for tea. I mentioned that I was running low on water (again) and minutes later I had 4 litres of water in the pack. I enjoyed meeting Peter and Megan and they were off to the Bay of Islands so we all went on our ways.

I continued south towards the estuary but just missed the low tide which could only mean one thing, I had to take the long way round by road. My legs were aching from all the water I was carrying but it’s hard to dump water when it is so scarce. I stopped outside someones driveway and cooked up the double dinner and that used up a fair amount of the water. Moroccan Lamb with an added pack of mixed instant vegetables. I had plenty of mash potato as usual. Perhaps it’s a little early for saying this but the mash potato by Back Country is actually quite a nice mix which I don’t see myself getting tired of. I’m just sorry I didn’t order more of the Moroccan Lamb. It has a slightly sweet fragrance about it which left me feeling quite sorry to see the bottom of my bowl. The owners of the property I was nearby then drove into the driveway just as I sat down to enjoy my dinner. They were surprised to see me there but they didn’t complain. It looked like they might have been interested in joining me.

I wanted to make it to Ocean Beach settlement but after hiking up Kauri Mountain (excellent views from there) the sun was setting so I descended and I made it to a small clearing on the north end of Ocean Beach.

It was one of the windiest nights I’ve experienced while camping. I thought my tent was going to get ripped apart and I’m surprised that it survived. I enjoyed hearing the sound of the ocean as I lay awake for most of the night. Sometimes the wind on my tent was too loud to hear the ocean. I probably got less than an hours sleep throughout the night and started packing just after 4am because the wind was getting stronger. The rain started too but fortunately it didn’t get too heavy which enabled me to at least enjoy the early hours on Ocean Beach.

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