Day 17: Pataua to Urquharts Bay

Distance today: 28.4km
Distance total: 446.2km
Time hiked: 12h 01min
Time total: 132h 15min


6 in the morning. Twilight. I leave Treasure Island Camp, the head lamp showing me the way. It's a half past 6, shortly before sunrise, when I leave Terra Firma and start to cross the estuary. A 3km hike, initially mostly along mangroves, through ankle deep mud before crossing a river. The crossing is simply amazing. Alone, only surrounded by sand, mud and water. Around half way through, the sun rises. Not a single cloud around. A magical moment. I stop and soak up the energy, well needed energy. Definitely the biggest highlight so far!


Kauri Mountain, with nice views, is next, before descending down to a beach, which I follow for 8km. Crystal clear water and great views of Bream Head, a hill formation will hike later today. But not before cooling down a little in the chilly ocean ;) With the strong wind, coming out of the water isn't really comfortable. At least, it dries everything very quickly.


Shortly before leaving the beach, I meet some wonderful people on the beach, enjoying the great weather. They are really interested in my hike and I'm more than happy to explain everything. It's always nice when someone is showing an  interest in what I'm doing (and after 6 hours of walking and the swim, it's time for a break anyway ;) 
Oh, and thanks for the apple!


The rest of the day is hard work on the Bream Head Trail. It's an up and down. With already 20km of walking through mud and sand in my my legs, it's slow progress, even though the trail itself is quite nice to walk on, the many stairs making it a whole lot easier.


After a last brutal 400 meter descent I enter Urquharts Bay. I decide to call it a day but I can't find a place to pitch my tent. 
So I just ask a local if he knew a place to camp. "Right here if you want", pointing right at his front yard. Wow, that comes unexpected!
They even invite me for dinner. Kiwi hospitality at its best!


Crossing the estuary
Crossing the estuary
...and from above.
...and from above.
Beach and Bream Head
Beach and Bream Head
Kiwi hospitality!
Kiwi hospitality!

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