Thursday 19 November – Day 5
It is a sad day as my trail angels are leaving me today. Ma and Pa heading south and Paulette returning to the South Island. We got all packed up and went into Kaitaia for coffee. Then we returned to Ahipara and said goodbyes.
I have been toying with an alternative to the Te Araroa trail for the next section through to the bay of islands. When I walked north in 2017 I was able to walk all of the northland forests including Herekino, which is now closed due to kauri die back. I kind of want to go a different way this time so have decided to walk around the coastline from Ahipara down to Herekino then onto the Hokianga, before crossing to Opua and Paihia. The others from my group have all continued onto the forest section so I hope to meet up with them in Paihia.
I walked to the excellent North Drift cafe for some lunch and whilst enjoying my hamburger and Allpress coffee chatted to some locals about my intended route. I was delighted with who I met and the intel received. My day was on a high. But not for long.
I received a text from Mum that there were trekking poles in the boot of the car. Shit. They were mine and they were now in Whangarei! I would not have been too concerned if I was only using them for walking however on this trip they also provide the frame for my tent. Without them my tent is basically a sack. It was nearing 3 pm and I want to leave early in the morning. What to do? I googled trekking poles Kaitaia and was relieved to learn there is a Hunting & Fishing store. So out to the road I go in order to hitch a ride into Kaitaia.
But with time running out I took a chance to call my friend Paula in Queenstown. You’d be thinking ‘what, why call someone in Queenstown?’ Well it happens that her parents live in Ahipara and with good grace her father was able to give a ride to purchase some new trekking poles. Omg what a lifesaver and a debt of gratitude I will return as soon as I can.
Funnily enough I was browsing the trekking pole section when Hello there was super gorgeous Sandra, a childhood friend, who works part time in the store. Wow my day had gone from slightly crappy to brilliant in the space of an hour. Life is good.