Kaiikanui Forest to Nikau Bay Eco Camp – 35km, 1km was a boat ride across Ngunguru River (347 km total)
So my feet are getting use to being used all day and are not as sore at the end of the day anymore. However, I am not yet conditioned for hills, particularly ones that go straight up. Oh, my thighs!
The morning started with a climb straight up out of Kaiikanui Forest, 50m into it and I was sweating buckets. The trail then leveled out a bit through farm land and some road walking into Whananaki where the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere is.
I’ll never understand New Zealand forecasts. The weather was predicted to be sunny for the coming week. Yet, the rain came down in buckets. So the entire walk between Whananaki and Matopouri which would have had gorgeous views of Sandy Bay was spent with my head down.
We leap frogged with some Kiwi guys all day and ended up heading to the same spot for the night. The plan was to try and make it to Ngunguru and cross the river with James from Nikau Bay Camp but we weren’t sure if we could make it in time. So after lunch in Matopouri, we attempted to push through Matopouri Bush track. It was through steep wet forest which I am slow on both because my thighs apparently don’t like the steepness and because I am as sure footed as a baby giraffe when it is slippery underfoot (as evidenced by yesterdays photo). But the slippery part didn’t last too long and we made good time into Ngunguru where we resupplied. In true hiker trash fashion, we sat on the side walk devouring what we had bought and then moving to the foreshore where we ate hot chips.
It was then a short walk to the jetty to meet James. Where we settled in for the night, with the kiwi guys and a couple that we doing the North Island northbound around a campfire and some drinks.
Today I am thankful for campfires.