“Well, come on feet” – Sarah, The Labyrinth
Cape Reinga to Te Paki Stream. 20km
I have been waiting in anticipation for this day for so long. That when yesterday, I started to think, ‘What am I doing? I’ve done so semi crazy things in life, but this has got to be the craziest.’ I texted my friend at home and her reply was ‘You’ve now caught up with the rest of us. We’ve been thinking this thing you want to do is crazy, all along.’ However, as soon as I started walking this morning all the doubt washed away as I started to walk through this amazing creation, exclaiming “This is so cool” with nearly every foot step.
Last night I stayed at Utea Park, which is a campsite on 90 mile beach. Tania offers an awesome service. She picks people up from Kaitaia (the furtherest north you can get by bus). Takes you to Utea Park overnight. Lets you leave stuff with her to pick up on the way back and then drives you up to Cape Reinga the following day.
On the way to Cape Reinga, we passed two people trying to hitch. So we picked them up. They were also TA hikers. M and J from the States. They hadn’t booked in advance and it had sold out. So they had caught 8 hitches the day before and we were their 9 to finally get to Cape Reinga.
Tania dropped us off. We took each other’s obligatory start photos, then set off. I said good by to M and J. As seasoned Thru Hikers, having done the AT and PCT I was never going to keep up with them.
The day was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for better weather. The views were amazing and I exclaimed so at every turn. However, the umbrella soon went up. I was so thankful I bought it. The hikers I had met the previous day at Utea were very sunburnt, and they kept telling me “Put sunscreen on, even if you think you don’t need to reapply, do it!” So, I did, but the Umbrella was great and the beating hot sun off of me.
The day passed quickly as I made it from Cape Reinga, down onto Te Werahi beach, then over the head land, onto Twilight beach. It was too sunny for any vampires to be out. I made it to Twilight Beach campsite, by mid afternoon. Having heard from the hikers that days 2 and 3 were killers along 90 mile beach, I decided to push on. I stoped 20km in by Te Paki stream. Marveling at an amazing day.
(Note to self, find a new adjective!)
Today, I am thankful for the beautiful weather to kick off the TA.