All we need is mud... to get a beer

The 20th of November 2017
Time to say goodbye to Ros and Hugh, after 2 wonderful nights at their place.
Ros in front of her bed and breakfast 
Hugh driving us across the estuary
We decided to hike with Adriana and Craig. We met them in Ahipara, just when we came back from the hospital, and we had a good connection with them.
The day is beautifully sunny and we enjoy discussing with our friends, exchanging about our lives, our families, our work,...
Something that we discuss a lot with the other hikers is the shoes and the feet. Both Marie-Laure and me decided to hike with hiking boots, while most hikers wear low trail shoes. 
After a few hundred kilometers, our conclusion is that we're happy of our choice. Our boots are sometimes a bit heavy and warm, which tends to be more welcoming than necessary for fungus (this blog is becoming kind of intimate). I sorted out this particular problem by changing my socks every 2 hours (so I always use 2 out of 3 pairs at the same time). 
But the real advantage of our boots is that we have had dry feet nearly all the time, while other hikers told us that their feet were wet all the time since the very first day of Te Araroa. Most of the time, I was even able to cross the streams without having to remove my shoes.
So if I had to make the shoes choice again, I would make the same.
After climbing up the cliff up the beach, the 4 of us were quite tired. We found a nice spot where we  pitched our tents. We heard many kiwis during the night. They are difficult to spot but it's definitely not a problem to hear them at night.

The 21st of November 2017
What a blessing to wake up in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by smily friends singing "happy birthday to you".
We had to hike quite long time to get out of the forest, but what a nice sight when we came out of it!
We need to cross the bay. Duncan will help us for that, but we have some time left. We stop at the small shop of the village and our friends offer me an ice cream.
Just before reaching the meeting point with Duncan, we see Billy, a super fast hiker. He'll cross as well. So here we are, nearly a tribe, at the feet of the oil refinery on the other side of the bay, ready for the lunch.

After that, another long stretch of beach awaiten us. But that's an interesting one. There are so many shells on the shore... And some are full. And some are... Scallops ! Hooray!
We find a bunch of scallops that look yummy and we gather them in a plastic bag full of sea water. Tonight, the scallops will be the perfect start for my birthday dinner!
At Ruakaka village, at the end of the beach, we find a supermarket. Our backpacks are too heavy after that, but I want a nice birthday dinner and I expect we might meet other Te Araroa hikers at tonight's camping, so better carry 2 bottles of wine instead of only one!
When we arrive at the camping, Jan and Wayne are already there and they've got a cabin with kitchen. We all gather on their terrace and Wayne opens and prepare the scallops for us. They are kiwis and they know a lot about seafood.
The evening with Marie-Laure and our friends was awesome. We had good fun, good food and we went to sleep quite late (21h30) to our usual standards.

The 22nd of November 2017
We left the campground quite late, after our laundry had completely dried. Goodbye Craig and Adriana! They're taking a zero day, while we feel we want to go further.
We cross Waipu, where we planned to meet Stef and Heiner for the break. But we can't find them. We eat on a bench in front of a shop and a guy stops to give us a watermelon. The weather is quite warm today and it's the best watermelon of our lives.

We hitchhike on the road and that's how we reach the next forest trail. We are full of energy and we decide to hike till Mangawhai Heads. We know that we'll arrive at the sunset, but we really enjoy it.

The 23rd of November 2017
Today is a beach day. After some road walk, we'll have a 15 kilometers walk on the beach.
We have some streams to cross but they are easier than expected. We don't even need to remove our shoes!
It's still quite early when we arrive at a campground where we decide to spend the night. We can enjoy a full afternoon of rest.

The 24th of November 2017
5:30, wake up! We want to be on the trail early today. We heard about a nice place to eat burgers, but it's quite far and it closes at 5 PM...
The typical gate that we meet at least 5 times a day
The path is nice at first, with stunning views on the sea and the hills. But soon, it becomes really muddy and slippery. Marie-Laure doesn't enjoy it at all.
On that type of ground, each kilometer takes ages.
It gets worse and worse and when we arrive at the road, after 5 hour of walk, we decide to stop here and not to start today the next forest that might even be worse. The burgers will have to wait till tomorrow...
We find a nice campground, at the house of a kiwi-dutch couple. They are very nice and Matt, who used to be a physiotherapist, has a look at Marie-Laure's ankle. He tapes it and we hope it will help her foot to fully recover. For the moment, it's not painful but it keeps being a bit swollen after a day of hike.
So for now, we just make a laundry and rest in our host's couch with a beer. Not that bad!


  1. salut les Robinsonnes de la coquille et de la bottine !

  2. Je rêve à travers vous les filles. J'ai presque l'impression d'y être. Enjoy it. Gros bisous de la Belgique enneigée. Audrey et le bro (en pensées ;-))


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