I got my gear packed this morning and then realised that I had slept about 200m from a house so figured I would go and see if I could fill my water bottle. I am not sure if the correct description for it was "under construction" or "delapidated". It was two-story and literally nothing was finished although it had the makings of a lovely house and was surrounded by building supplies. Much of the exterior joinery was broken - a second story exterior door had just the hinge side of the door and the three aluminium cross members left, the glass and the latch side completely missing. Windows had latches ripped off so couldn't be locked. It was full of bird poop and the toilet was turned into a birds' nest. There were two empty bottles, one a Jim Beam and the other Steinlager - both the biggest examples I have ever seen. No water though.
Hit the beach again at 9.00am and immediately started seeing tour buses. Some of them gave me a toot and a friendly wave today - it really lifted my spirits that simple gesture. I had only got waves the day before.
Stopped for lunch at roughly half way for the day at "The Park" in Waipapakauri. The manager, Trent, and his offsider made me feel most welcome. Talked about a range of things while I polished off three sausage rolls and a coke. then with my drink bladder filled with ice cold water and feeling well rested I set off for my final stint on ninety mile beach.
After 90 minutes I caught up with two young people from Hokianga fashionably equipped with alternative tramping equipment. Both had long woollen coats under their backpacks and both carried an umbrella. They sat down to rest as I caught them, so I carried on after a brief hello.
I stopped about 1km short of Ahipara for a photo on the beach - me lying above the words "Te Araroa = 2600km". I was looking forward to finishing this section but feel some sorrow too and will remember ninety mile beach fondly although she has treated me harshly at times.
Arrived at Ahipara Motor Camp around 5.00pm and Jean was most helpful, everything from booking tea to giving me some rosemary to bathe my feet with. Feeling pretty good after a much needed shower and a dinner shared with two German tourists - Thomas Grimm and Ansgar Gosse-Sender. Forecast for the coming week is not great.
The rain finally let up enough for me to take this photo about one kilometre from Ahipara.
The three of us in the common room of the Ahipara Motor Camp after dining out earlier in the evening.