Kerikeri to Paihia – 26km (253km total)
I had a couple of errands to do in Kerikeri, so I took advantage of the free Wifi at MacDonalds and had breakfast there, while waiting for the shops to open. It was 10am before I started hiking.
It was a short walk out of Kerikeri and then onto a road before entering into pine forest. Today, I had my first run in with an inconsiderate driver. He came up behind me on a single lane bridge and honked for me to move over. Where he expected me to move over to I’m not sure. On to the guard rail or perhaps into the creeks would suffice and then he attempted to pass me. With all the road walking on the North Island in particular, I’m sure this won’t be my last run in inconsiderate drivers. However, up to this point I have found drivers to mostly be great and give plenty of room where they can.
Most of the day was spent in the pine forest. As I exited the forest there is a plaque commemorating the opening of the first section of the Te Araroa back in 1995. It is pretty amazing what they were able to do between then and 2011 in establishing a trail that runs the whole length of New Zealand. For such a young trail it will be interesting to see how it continues to develop over the next 10-20 years.
The trail then goes down to Waitangi, past the treaty grounds where back in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed between the British and Maori chiefs, before heading into Paihia and the east coast. I’ve officially crossed from west to east of New Zealand. Now to make it north to south.
I timed today great. Just as I got to the YHA the rain started to come down. A bad weather front is coming in again over the weekend. So I will take a couple of days off in Paihia for it to pass. However, the next section of trail is partly river crossings and walking and shouldn’t be done after heavy rainfall. So, I need to work out what to do, as it could be 3-4 days before the next part of the track becomes walkable again.
Today I am thankful for a dry place out of the rain.