Friday, 13 December 2013

Cape Reinga and Ze Germans

Next day I got a spin from a German couple who'd been at the campsite, but I hadn't spoken to - Yannick and Vera.  They were travelling with their friends Broghart and Saskia and their one year old kid Paul, all hailing from Dresden, and again extremely cool East Germans. Both couples had really great refitted old vans, decked out wonderfully and their home for the next few months. Hung out with them for a few days and our paths would cross again.

They were also heading for Tapotutpotu Bay up the road, closer to Cape Reinga. Again a great DOC campground in a fantastic setting, beautiful white sanded beach, nestled between two green headlands and aqua-marine waters, the colours bouncing off one another real nice. On arrival we bumped into Camille and Laurent from Bay of Islands trip. We took off on a coastal trek to Cape Reinga, which took in a few more beaches and headlands, fantastic scenery.

A little cove on the trek to Cape Reinga
Cape Reinga is the most northerly point of New Zealand and there's a wonderful view of where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide, these insane whirlpools and currents that would gobble you up and spit you out. Against the advice of ze Germans I decided to power on and do what was meant to be Day 2 of a 3 day trek, we'd done Day 1, head across the beach and over to Cape Marie Van Diemen.

Cape Marie Van Diemen in the distance
*sitting here trying to write this and the two Filipino girls next to me are blasting out Boyzone songs. There's nothing like Ronan Keatings voice to make my skin crawl and head to slump. Boyzone - The Great Irish Shame!

Anyway, where was I, yeah was making good time, generally twice the predicted time, I'd make it no hass. But with all of these things, you get to one high point and another one appears. Trekking through sand ain't no joke.  I eventually made it over there but the hour was not in my favour, it would be dark soon. I sat there for about ten minutes, soaked it all up, the beautifully wild yet serene picture in front of me, and looked back at the desert like terrain that I had crossed and it was a magical sight indeed.

The path trodden

I had about two hours to do the four hour trek before darkness fell. Fought my way down through an absolute thicket of reeds (no path round these parts) and over the desert-like dunes.

I was then met by a forest that was pretty spooky and dark before the markers directed me to a field of cows.  First I had to make sure they were cows and not bulls ! Then I began to negotiate a way between them.  It was like a friggin computer game, each cow I approached was an enemy to overcome. Each cow and calf combo I encountered forced me into a Mexican Stand-off where I'd have to stare the mother down whilst moving past them with a sideways shuffle. This took bloody ages but they'd all eventually leg it once I'd psyched them out of it.

*They're playing the goddam Corrs now. Jeaaaysus !

Eventually I made it to the main road as night fell. At least I had a fair idea of where I was, and only had another 4-5 k's to walk. In pitch black darkness ! I eventually made it back to the campsite, absolutely bate out. In fairness to them, Yannick and Vera threw me up a hearty vegetarian meal, nothing like a eh chickpea salad to fill the stomach  after a day of hiking !

Lesson Learned: when a german tells you that you are wrong, you should f-ing listen to them !

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