First of all, long since blogging. Not feeling super about that but other things also take time... More posts to come shortly, this post starts December 8th and ends December 10th.
Alright, so after doing the super nice rain forests ending up in Kerikeri I was suppose to continue through Bay of islands and eventually end up in Whangarei. One day walk through replanted forest and roads took me to bay of islands where I stayed the night on the hostel and had a couple of beers with the people in our room called the 'chalet'. Super nice people and a relaxing night. Next day I headed out for whananaki and eventually a place called ngunguru. Didn't reach Whananaki the first night, so I took right off TA down to Oakura, to the stay at a campsite stated on the map. But when I arrived to the campsite it was obviously not a public campground anymore. So I asked the lady in a house next to the former campground, where the nearest unabandoned campsite was located. Instead of telling me she convinced me (not really hard to do) to come upstairs and have dinner with her and her husband, since they just were about to eat. I ended up getting I shower, a cold beer and a nice dinner including dessert with this super nice people, called Sel and Janine. We stayed up until midnight chatting about everything. Instead of pitching my tent as I intended, they let me sleep in the basement, which hopefully will be a B&B not to far away in time. After they made me breakfast I ended up on the TA again, 5 km down the road. Since Janine certainly didn't think the first stretch of road was walkable, she gave me a ride. Can't really find words for the hospitality of these people, so amazingly kind and generous. If the B&B opens up, everyone traveling northland should stay there! Wish them all the best!!!
After starting the roadwalk once again, I took a wrong turn and missed Helena Bay. Smashed 6 km and 200 m elevation in an hour before I realized my mistake. Fortunately I ended up in Helena Bay Hills Cafe and had a Lasagne together with an amazing view of Helena Bay. I also missed the shower that went by over my hour of sheltered lunch. I got offered a ride back by a couple who lived in Helena Bay. They took me to a turn off point on the gravel road after Helena Bay. Amazing view. Once again, the Kiwis (New Zealanders) are probably the kindest people I've met. Conclusion: wrong turns are not always a bad thing!
After getting in to the forest again, I hit The Morepork track that took me to whananaki. It was mainly a hard clay track in replanted forest. The increasing rain made the clay extremely slippery and the progress painfully slow. No good views and I ended up walking through a bull pasture, totally convinced the would eat me alive. But they were actually hiding from the rain in the far end of the pasture and I escaped alive!
Some more farmland and road walking before I ended up in Whananaki holiday park. Met a couple of cool guys originally from South Africa but NZ residents since 10 years. They offered me beer and some leftover homemade pizza. We listened to ABBA and Räserbajs, sweet combo. They mentioned that they met a couple of American hikers an hour ago, and I identified them as Nuthatch and Jonah, which I met before. The South Africans had offered the Americans a ride over the Ngunguru Inlet on sea Kayaks the next day at 15:00. Of course I wanted to catch up and smashed the remaining 25 km of trails and gravel roads in 6 hours following day...