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After 10 days off the trail I was up at 4:30am packing for another day of hiking. The owner of the place I was staying at arranged for someone to give me a lift back to Marsden Point where I stepped off the trail for a break. The sun was rising as David drove me to where I wanted to start hiking. I knew it would be a great day although I was wondering how my feet would handle the 23km day ahead. Earlier on my recovery break, I bought some hikers wool (for blister prevention) and was looking forward to trying it out.

I was confident it would work well for me. When I arrived at the oil refinery it took a while to prepare the hikers wool inside my boots and then I commenced the beach section. This wool feels amazing – like walking on cotton wool. I couldn’t feel any pain or discomfort which was a total relief. A huge weight had suddenly lifted from me as I knew how difficult and painful it was to walk hundreds of km’s with blisters on my heels and toes. I was finally walking my long walk of freedom.

I enjoyed gaining ground in the area of Bream Bay which was named by Captain Cook when he visited the region in 1769. It was named due to the ease of capture of 90-100 bream fish soon after anchoring.

Strange to be hiking between huge tanker ships, filling up with oil alongside the oil refinery and some massive oil tanks on the land side. A truly great morning to be hiking south again. I had the whole beach to myself for most of the way. It was a long day and three quarters of it was along roads which wasn’t great but it made for easy striding.

Just as I was nearing Waipu, and thinking of how much quicker it is to gain ground along the roads, I was almost mowed down by a 3m wide lawn mower. It took more than its fair share of the pavement. Thankfully I survived and was able to later enjoy the best “Crispy Chicken Salad” ever at the Pizza Barn in Waipu!

I stayed at Rosie’s place in Waipu which is not advertised yet but because the Wanderers backpackers was full I was shifted across the road to Rosie’s which I’m sure was a lot rosier. Such a great place to stay as it was newly built and just looked great. Rosie had a mini farm with plenty of chickens roaming about too. I really enjoyed my time at that gem of a place. What a surprise.

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