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20/12/2004 AM



I felt much better yesterday but did such a long day that it was all I could do to get my tent up and crawl into it at 10.30pm when I stopped walking. 45.8km according to the GPS, I am still not 100% comfortable with working it but that number is within 1km of what I worked out frm the maps.

Have popped blisters on both my heels so hopefully they will be ok once I dress them. Shoulders are also still sore, guess another day or two and that will stop.

The trip yesterday really was a very long walk on a beach, I saw about six buses and a similar number of 4WD vehicles. I also met a guy called Simon from Piha who was walking north. He had run into Mathais, German guy who walked Te Araro last summer.

Other things of interest were a dead whale and a gannet. The gannet was very funny, it lumbered along jumping in the air occassionaly as it tried to take off. It seems that their take off skills being so poor is dangerous on 90 mile beach as the only dead birds I saw were gannets - including one with tyre tracks right over it. There were also wild horses at one stage but they didn't hang around as I got closer. There is an amazing amount of rubbish. Some of the more unusual items have been flourescent tubes, hard hats and a number of golf balls all of which claimed to have been stolen from Pro Drive.

There are also lots of interesting shells and dead stuff - like porcupine fish. I had kept walking late so I could take a photo of the sunset. It was looking good but I mucked up on the timing and did not get one.

Around 3pm yesterday I decided to have a siesta. I found some rushes behind a dune and lay down in them so as to take out a lot of the wind. I then "wove" them together over me to make a shelter which I slung my raincoat on as a roof. In the 90mins I was there the sun shone hard, then the rain rained hard, then it was cloudy and a little cold. The sand dunes really provide no shelter at all from the wind, it all just flows right on over and down the other side. It does however pick up a lot of extra sand. So to get shelter means finding a vertical bank (not easy) or some rushes/trees etc to rest behind.

First Morning: My little tent and me safely sheltered in a pine forest a few kilometres south of Te Paki Stream where I spent the first night of my journey.
Outside my tent on the first morning of my journey.

 
 
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