After starting Te Araroa, there's roughly three hours with hilly, beautiful landscape combined with small beaches until you get to 90 mile beach. Really enjoyable first hours. Then you hit it.. Unshaded, sandy, right next to the ocean and the sound of smashing waves for as long as the eye can see. At first it seems quite inviting. The rest of the first day wasn't bad at all, did 20 km in total.
Pitching a non free standing tent in the dunes can be pretty difficult, even with Y-stakes. The sand just doesn't support the stakes enough and there is no stones to use either. You need to find some vegetation to stake it properly.
Start of the second day felt alright, pretty sunrise and not that sore. But this day required me to go 40 km where of the last 15 km was in search of water. Eventually ended up at the 10th dried out stream, 15 kilometers from the last one with water. My feet really hurt and sun was about to set. So I just made my way upstream for about 200 meters and found a swamp. Either that or continue 9 km to a camping spot called Utea Park at Hukatere.
I decided to give the water a shot and went for Steripenning (purifying) 0,5 liters of water for 1 liter time (90 sec). And I'm still alive so I guess it worked out. The water was really okay actually, it didn't taste that bad at all. Tap water in NZ is sometimes worse, tastes like a swimming pool..
Next day I started at 11:20 and got to hukatere around 13:30, taking my time. Stopped there to camel up and protect myself from the sun. Had 4 liters of water in the same amount of hours.
Continued after refilling and had a great nights sleep in the forest past the dunes, actually slept another hour after breakfast.
Last day on the beach I met Jabba the hut. He was a pretty nice dude..
The sun was really burning so I burned my calfs the second day, so after Utea Park I decided to go hike in my long johns and long sleeve that I usually sleep in. Such an amazing outfit. After 30 minutes I felt the thigh chafe starting to increase. The only way to solve thigh chafe is to put something between the thighs. In this case Allan I had was the long johns, but I needed to pull them up as high as possible to avoid the chafe. Derived from this, obviously a camel toe. So there I was, hiking the 90 mile beach in a pair of Long Johns with my package split up in two...
At last I arrived in Ahipara holiday park at the southern end of the beach and took half a day of, doing some light laundry, yoga beneath a tree in the breeze and just sorting my gear out, trying to brush of the sand.
Yes, I changed before entering Ahipara..