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Cape Reinga to Bluff  
   Saturday April 29, 2017







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I had a lazy start today. Jenny made poached eggs and then we went for a walk together. We visited her husbands grave at the local Uru Pa (spelling?) which was situated high on a headland with views of the Poor Knights. We washed our hands as we left, then looked around the beach and talked some more. It was midday by the time I shouldered my pack and bid a sad farewell to this remarkable woman.

My route took me up Clements Road which is much longer than shown on the map. This was mainly farmland with many horses and one peacock. At the entrance to Mamaka farm and village I headed up the hill passing through both native and exotic bush in places. I followed a four wheel drive track all the way at one stage passing the letter box of a farmer that I had rung for permission. Eventually I was back on a gravel road, Waiotai Road, heading due south towards Ngunguru. I stopped for a visit with Ben Edgar who fed and watered me before I continued one.

Crossing the Nguguru would have been achievable at low tide, unfortunately it wasn't so I sat myself down by the motor camp and waited for an unsuspecting boat owner. My luck was a little thin however and I had to settle for an offer of a ride from a Frenchman who was the proud owner of a sit upon kayak. While in theory it as a two man craft we had it sitting awfully low in the water. To be fair to it, both the Frenchman (Itian) and myself were fairly large and we also had my pack and his son who was going to help paddle back.

Having been dumped on the other side I went up somebody's drive to the road. I did stop at the house to ask permission but only knocked quietly so as not to wake the large dog sleeping on the deck.

I now had to find somewhere to cross the Horahora river. I had noticed a spot on the map that showed pasture right to the waters edge so headed for that. I walked up to the farmhouse to check that it would be ok and meet Jim and Paula Cooper who gave me more kai and water while we sat on their deck and admired the view down the Hora hora. Jim had spent time in Blenheim and Picton when he was working for the railways in Wellington, he also knew the McMaths.

After a while I needed to push on as it was getting late so I turned down the offer of staying the night and headed for the river with Tim and Paula's son Hemi and their nephew Waeko as my guides. I was soon loaded into a dinghy and with Hemi as navigator I rowed about 500m upstream to Jim's brothers' farm where the boys walked me up the road. The boys were excellent companions and I answered many questions about my journey.

I was now about 3km from the coast so headed down the road for the beach. Accessing the beach proved a bit of an adventure and I cut two fingers on some cutty grass as I avoided private land that was clearly posted as not wanting visitors.

Foolishly I had though I would have a clear run to Pataua. In fading light and with a mid tide I had to negotiate about a kilometre of rocky headlands. These had lots of good size crabs skittling around on the rocks.

I arrived at the Treasure Island motor camp after 10.00pm feeling very tired but glad to have found a way across the two rivers today so easily.

Waeko and Hemi. Thanks guys.

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