Up early to race for low tide on the beach which was still a reasonable hike away. Shelly offered to cook sausages for breakfast but I think the girls only woke around 8am and I was almost packed by then so I said goodbye and made for the forest that lay between me and the beach. I enjoyed hiking the shady road leading to the beach and it was low tide when I arrived. Seventeen km’s of beach lay ahead before I was to reach Pikiri where I planned to camp for the night.
I would soon be reaching my 500km mark just before getting to Te Arai hill. When I reached that point I took a load off, sat on the beach and thought about many of the good experiences I’d had on this trail up to that point. I couldn’t believe that I was only one sixth of the way through it. This point was worth a photo. I set the camera on auto and it took a few photos as I took a break.
A little later I was forced to take a rest whilst the incoming tide softened the sand. I found a great spot in the forest next to the beach and made dinner there which I often do at lunch time. The dunes were between me and the waves but I could hear the waves getting smaller as the tide came in.
About four hours later I was back hiking on the beach which was a much better time for it – no harsh sun and much cooler too. The beach became very wide and the rivers I had to cross weren’t deep at all. I arrived at the Pikiri campsite at 8:15. Since I had dinner earlier on I thought it would be a great idea to have breakfast – and went to bed.