Boots on the Beach
Hi everybody, writing today from Kerikeri, about a week in to our journey. We would have liked to update earlier, but finding an actual computer has been difficult. We'll backtrack to last Sunday when we left Auckland for the trail...
We left our hostel and were looking to kill a few hours before our bus left for Paihia, so we decided to check out the library, where, lo and behold, they were showing a free movie at 10 a.m. It was a New Zealand production as well, which is something we wanted to partake of while we were here, so we decided to join in. Of course the crowd was composed mainly of the local homeless population, but they couldn't have been friendlier. Given that there was free coffee and cookies, and we are somewhat homeless ourselves right now, we fit right in. After, we caught our bus to Paihia, a beautiful beach town with about 6 hostels in it, on the Bay of Islands. We did some quick resupply and got our last fancy dinner for awhile at Only Seafood before staying at the YHA hostel in town.
In the morning, we took a Great Sights tour bus with an awesome guide named Chris, on our way to Cape Reinga. The bus drove right up 90 Mile Beach on the sand (apparently some beaches are classified as highways here. go figure,) and we went dune surfing for awhile. It kind of like sledding, but on a body board on sand instead. Finally, we finished out last leg of the journey to the start of the trail at the Cape Reinga lighthouse... a trip in inself that started a week earlier. We took some photos, had a quick meal, and managed to put in a 22 km hike, ending at a camp at the start of our long beach walk next to a whale skeleton behind some dunes. The start of the trail is gorgeous, with cliff walks along the ocean and through flowering beach scrub, so its definitely a good way to start off.