The last week has been full of adventure- the trail certainly puts us through every type of terrain. We've had a LOT of road walking, which is never our favorite but, as the trail is not complete, we connect sections with (sometimes long) road walks. Sometimes we're on nice quiet scenic back country roads, but a lot of the time we're on main paved roads with very little shoulder, so we really have to be careful. But somehow, even when most of the day is spent road walking, we tend to end up in very beautiful places.
After a particularly difficult forest trek last week where we ended up misplaced and walking the wrong way for four hours, we ended the day with a beautiful road walk through amazing farmland and countryside next the the coast. As we turned the corner to end the road walk, we met a couple who were doing sections of the TA and camped with them. They were only the second people we've met, its always fun to meet other hikers!
|After a long road walk, we were rewarded with this view|
|Brazil Nut starting the estuary walk|
The east coast shore line has been beautiful. Even some of the road walks have been near the beach and the scenery has been beautiful. We're in Waipu, and this morning as we were leaving the grocery store we saw some other thru hikers who we hadn't met yet. As we approached them, Brazil Nut recognized the guy from her PCT thru hike in 2010- only thru hikers would bump into someone in the middle of nowhere NZ who they met several years ago and pick up talking like it was the most natural thing. It was great to meet them, trade stories, and catch up- the trail is simply amazing!
Yesterday we took a short trip to the Waipu caves with Steve, the hostel owner and the other hostel guests. The best pat is that there's no guide, visitors are completely on their own. We could walk in several hundred meters into a few big chambers in the cave. As we went in further and our eyes adjusted, we looked up to what appeared to be the most starry sky you've ever seen. We were looking at glow worms, which are in fact a fly larvae. The life cycle from larvae to fly is apparently about a year and during that time they glow, and truly look like little tiny stars. There were so many, unfortunately pictures do not do it justice, but it was a great side trip to take.
|The Waipu caves|
A very merry Christmas to all and happy trails!
-Jetpack and Brazil Nut
|Tane Moana- the gigantic Kauri tree|
|The longest footbridge in the Southern hemisphere|
|Beautiful Whananaki coastal walk|
|Taking a break|
|Ocean Beach walk, view from Kauri Mountain|
|Picking oranges at the hostel :)|