After the luxury of taps and a kettle to get breakfast ready Faye dropped me off at the Stone House which was fantastic service.
I walked 30 meters back up the road to get back to the exact spot I left the trail yesterday and then back to the car park. I could see where the trail went but it was completely blocked off with a construction storage site. You have to wonder why they would completely block off the path. I tried a couple of approaches to find alternate paths but they dead ended in thick scrub and the stairs let to a cemetery. In the end as no one was there I walked right up to the construction area and saw I could squeeze through on the left through some gorse. In the other side is a nice sign explaining the access is closed and giving two alternatives. Would be nice to have that on the other side too.
The trail went over an open field, through some trees, over a bridge and then between two fences to get to a road.
I then followed the road for 1 km before turning left onto the main road and followed a footpath for 1.6 km. The local council must have a lot of money to afford a footpath through a rural area which looked like orchards. When the footpath ended I followed the road for another 1.5 km with lovely views of the Bay.
My thigh seems to have recovered completely which I am relieved about. Unfortunately I was now having problems with the tendon from my upper foot to lower shin - grrrr! It was sore if I strode out and going downhill so I dropped the pace. I had a short day today so quite happy to take it easy. After slowing down the tendon was making itself felt but not really painful.
The trail now turned into Waitangi Forest and I really enjoyed this part.
I walked just to the side of the road where there is an accumulation of pine needles which made for nice cushioned walking which was easy on my feet. There was heaps of birds around and I was treated to two Fantails putting on a dance display. I am not sure if they were competing for a mate or having a territorial dispute but great to watch. There were also some Tui doing a flying display.
I laughed at the track names. The mountain bike tracks had names like "Dead Possum"and "Nigels Nostril" while the forestry road names were like "Swamp Road" in the swap area.
I was impressed that rather than draining the wetlands to plant more trees the have actually protected them by convents.
Once we got high there were fantastic views of the bays complete with old fashioned 3 mast Schooner.
I passed the Te Araroa Trail foundation marker which has obviously had some recent maintenance. My question is why did they put it there in the middle of the trail?
Once leaving the forest it was a 6 km walk down a gravel road to Waitangi.
The road went through the golf course where there was a big tournament. I am guessing national champs as people were in regional colours. It was a bit disconcerting walking along with golf balls landing only 30 meters away. I passed the memorial for William Hobson who was instrumental in the Treaty of Waitangi between the Maori and British 6 Feb 1840.
Down at the treaty grounds I stopped at the cafe for a very nice lunch before the final km on footpaths beside the beach to Paihia.
I stopped at the chemist for more anti chafe cream and then to the supermarket for supplies for the next leg. It was then one more km to the YHA backpackers where I was booked.
I had two resupply parcels waiting for me that my wonderful parents had mailed for me. After a long shower I washed my clothes and shoes and set up my tent to dry it.
I had a great dinner at the Saltwater Lodge where they have a great meal deal of garlic bread, salad, gourmet pizza and drink for $17.50. It was fantastic and went down very quickly. I am not actively hungry all the time yet but I am able to eat large quantities.
The evening was spent watching movies and working on my blog. The wifi speed here is fantastic.
Overall despite the sore tendon I really enjoyed today. I like the vibe of Paihia.
Hints of the day.
1. Plenty of great camping spots in Waitangi Forest.
2. No streams in Waitangi Forest. There are the water supply ponds and the Wetland ponds but definitely need a good filter as they are manky.
3. In the forest walk on the very edges of the roads where there is an accumulation of pine needles as it is easier on your feet.