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Through to Clevedon

This morning I was looking forward to reaching the outskirts of Auckland and weaving my way through country areas where making ground is more efficient. At one particular crossroad, after about two hours out from Half Moon Bay, the farmlands started up again and there was much less traffic. I came across a great place to have a break in Whitford – Amy’s Kitchen. The café is run by Amy and her brother Kelly. I enjoyed a rich coffee and fresh salad.

I enjoyed the peaceful setting very much and I really felt like staying longer but I had to keep working on my average – so back on the road and it wasn’t long before I joined up with the Te Araroa Trail again.

I turned onto Kimptons Road and the scenery was incredible. The lighting would have added to the already beautiful surroundings and I found a shady spot under a tree by a property fence. I could have sat there for hours just looking at the green hills. I had 8km left before I reached Clevedon Hotel and the sun was getting low so it was again – time to move on.

A great part of the trail was yet to come but I had to work for it. Kimptons road turned into a gravel road and wound its way up a hill through a pine forest. I was really enjoying this area. A few stiles later I turned around and saw Auckland far in the distance. Once over this hill I wouldn’t see Auckland again. I often look back to the view behind me and take it in before it gets left behind. Then the gorse started up again and whilst it wasn’t as overgrown as the Makarel Forest, it still required a bit of push and shove to get through.

There always seems to be a reward at the end of a wall of gorse. This time it was a rain forest trail which was surrounded by some very old-looking trees and plenty of palm fronds about. The trail was soft underfoot. The sun was lower and it couldn’t have looked better inside this forest than it did at that moment. Walking through this forest was one of the nicer trails of Te Araroa to date.

At the end of this trail I reached Clevedon and the few buildings and houses around had gold sunlight all over them. Nice looking town. I saw the best sunset on this trip so far just down the road from the Clevedon Hotel.

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