Despite the underside of my hammock getting a good soaking, I remained warm, but I was happy to see daybreak and after putting back on all of my sopping, cold clothes, I broke camp and got a brisk pace going.
After another farm track slippery slide I was greeted with views from the top of my night location
Getting into Whananaki I had a chat with some of the locals about the storm- apparently mini-tornado ripped through somewhere to go with the lightning storm. they also served up a really tasty homemade chicken and veggie pie for my breakfast, which I ate so fast I didn't get a pic!
Next, a wee walk across the estuary on the 'longest wooden walkway in the Southern Hemisphere'. This caused me much excitement.
Dampened slightly by a stroll on the estuary mud.
Along the coastal walk I met Colin and Ann from Jo'burg and chatted briefly about Te Araroa, before resuming my journey which followed some beautiful farmland trails and beaches. I don't know who owns some of those beach houses, but wow.
After what felt like a very long day (lack of sleep), I stumbled into Ngungaru and went about the serious business of drying out my gear, provisions for the rugby and finding a pub. What? No pub? Anyway, I did find a tv. And bourbon. That'll do donkey, that'll do.
This morning's walk was all road verge stuff, which I am slowly getting accustomed to. Funny, you see signs to places such as Whangarei, and the driving distances are far more efficient than the Te Araroa trail, but I suppose that's the point- the journey through some varied and often spectacular (or different) parts of NZ. And explains why the big difference with kms shown on the Cape Reinga sign, I think as the crow flies it says around 1,400 km.
As for weird stuff along the way today, I noted a particular house with CCTV on the front gate, and speculated it might be Kim dot Com's hideaway retreat in Northland.
And this guy on the side of the road, a face carved into a fallen log.
So for some more road verge walking. Which made my heart sing to come round a road bend to see this:
Also, I spied a family of Pateke, and more bunnies than in Watership Down.
On dusk I reached Pataua South