So we sat on our backsides and ate fish and chips and drank beer for the past 4 days, rethought this whole idea of trekking and looked into car hire or flights to a warmer climate … No, no, no we didn’t, shame on you for believing that even for a second! Since we arrived in Auckland we have been touring the outdoor gear shops to get the last few bits of gear, and the supermarket to stock up on our first week’s worth of tramping food, the conservation office to get maps and we even paid a visit to an embroidery shop for Daniel to buy that oh-so-very-special needle and thread in case we have a backpack emergency. Now, finally, we are ready to hit the open road and are booked on a 7.30 bus tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow we will be heading North, which is in-line with our original plan to hike from the Northern tip of the North island to the Southern tip of the South island (the Te Araroa trail). However, we are not sure how ‘ready’ we are to start a major hike yet, so have decided to ease ourselves into it with some day hikes. Or destination tomorrow is Paihia, about 100 miles short of the Northern tip, and about a 3 hour bus ride from Auckland. The choice of destination was made easier by a free tour to Paihia that landed in our lap, courtesy of Ann’s brother Padraig (thank you Padraig!). It means we can travel there for half nothing, and an ocean cruise to see whales and dolphins is included. Bonus! As a cruise is definitely not something our normal budget stretches to, we decided to go for it and live like monied tourists for the day! In fact, budget is a big factor at the moment, and we need to start camping asap as staying in the Auckland backpackers has blown a huge hole wide open in our budget!!