Day 1 – The Adventure Begins!

I have not had internet for the previous 4 days, so apologies for the flurry of posts. I typed a post each night, and are just posting these now. Also apologies for the spelling and grammar – each update was after the days “exercise” so may reflect my exhaustion!

Wow, what a day! Where to begin… I guess I should start by saying I have probably thought about whether this was a smart thing to do and if I will be able to complete what I set out to do, no more than 100+ times today. Definitely everyone there was a hill, or a slight uphill gradient!

But for every one of those moments, there was an equal amount of “wow!” situations as well.

The day started with me heading to “Hunting and Fishing” in Kaitaia to swap my puncture butane canister for a screw top type (rookie mistake). I had all my gear with me, so about 50 metres into the trek to downtown Kaitaia came my first – oh know moment. Very heavy bag and feeling it in a lot of new places on my body.

Anyway, I jumped the bus which was doing a tour so managed to see the Kauri place and two amazing beaches where we stopped for a BBQ lunch at the second beach. Then it was over to the cape to begin the trek.

I met to TA hikers in the carpark, and we all helped take photos of each other under the direction sign before heading off. I started first as the others went to have lunch.

The first part of the trail went fine, a long walk along he beach. I was in awe of the beautiful setting, and the sun was out and a clear blue sky. However after the beach section was a hill climb – this saw me dripping with sweat and cursing the sun beating down on me!

12km later I reached the Twighlight Beach campsite where I met Matt and Sarah from Christchurch whom I followed behind on the last beach section. As it was only 4:30pm, I decided to push on and see if I could reach the start on 90 mike beach.

This last 4.5km was a killer for me. I had to stop at every hill and drank a lot of water. 17kg is very heavy when you are not totally up to the right fitness, especially if your main preparation exercise has been running on a treadmill – with no hiking pack… and no incline!

However I made it to the beach, and just in time to go to a cove and pull my first “Bear Grylls” manoeuvre by filing my water bottles from a small stream (I filter and have treatment drops).

Setup my campsite for the first time outdoors, and dug for some pipis on the beach. Watched a fantastic sunset while I cooked and ate my pipis, then made dinner and got into my tent and swatted the 30+ mozzies that followed me in! If there is one still in here, I won’t be able to hear it due to the pounding surf 50 metres away 🙂

Overall the positives outweigh the negatives… just check out these photos! But, it is a daunting task that lies ahead, and it really only becomes a reality when you start. But I know personally I am still up for this challenge!

So, what have I learned today?

  • Always check and use your gear before setting off on a major hike!
  • There are two types of seals on gas canisters – make sure you have the right one for your stove
  • Always zipper up your tent to stop unwanted friends
  • Lower your expectations when you think you see the top of the hill – there is most likely a bigger climb to follow, and another after that…
  • Gumboots came from Croatians who were digging up the amber (gum) from the Kauri swamps
  • Don’t underestimate how much water you will need/drink, plan your water collection carefully on this section
  • Don’t take cheese… it doesn’t keep well outside of a fridge
  • I have new muscles which I only know about because they are aching!

Stats:

  • Starting time: 12:45pm, Tuesday 5th December 2017
  • Distance: 17 km, 17/3,000km
  • Starting weight: 92.2kg
  • Breakfast: Yoghurt
  • Lunch: BBQ steak, sausage and salad
  • Dinner: Pipis appetisers followed by Pita bread with pickle chutney, salami and cheese
  • Snacks: 2x Oranges (they were dry, yuck!)

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