Up at 5:47 for the sunrise over the ocean. It wasn’t quite as spectacular as I thought it would be but I did enjoy it. The colours improved with time which is around the time I took this photo. The campsite will be one to remember and will certainly be hard to beat. I didn’t want to pack up but I from what I had read together with what I could see – the walk down to the beach from that high point was just as beautiful as the camp spot itself.
The sun poured through the trees and onto the cliff-side trail. This would have to be one of the highlights of my traverse to date. I stopped many times on the way down and I could see the next two days walk ahead of me. I didn’t realise how picturesque this part of the trail would be. I’ve seen photos and have read about it but didn’t quite expect such beautiful scenery.
I walked into Mangawai Heads via the estuary and nearly didn’t make it along the shore as the tide was coming in fast. My gaiters only just kept my boots from getting wet but any longer in the salty water and my boots would have been filled. Tide waits for no man. Quite a few times on this trail I’ve been racing for the tide or waiting for it. It’s added a new dimension to hiking that I haven’t had a lot of before.
I stayed the night at the camp on the south side of the bridge leading out of Mangawai. I met a couple who mentioned that there was a good tent spot by the bamboo hedge which blocked the powerful winds that often tear through that area. I got to the hedge and the wind was gusting right through it. My lightweight tent would not enjoy this and I would have got little sleep there.
Then someone came by with a saw and started cutting down pieces of bamboo. What! No! I needed every piece of bamboo there was and more. They kept sawing away so I moved to another area and luckily the wind died right down later on. I met 4 lovely girls from Auckland at the campsite (Shelly, Sam, Donna and Annette) and enjoyed chatting to them before retiring for the night.