First Camp

First camp, a bit sandy

Camp 2

Camp 2

CookieWe still haven’t found any grass to camp on yet.. Camped tonight behind the beach in the sand dunes, picked this spot because it was slightly damp to give the tent pegs something firmer to stick into! We camped near and filled our boots with water from Te Paki Stream, water tasted good, but a bit worrying that the the stream also doubles up as a road for all the fisherman and tour buses..

Looking Good!

Nicky looking good/rough

NickyHaha Feeling well minging today. But luckily we bagged ourselves a sweet camp spot on the only piece of grass for miles around. Nice find Cookie!

Testing the wood burning capabilities of our stove

Testing the wood burning capabilities of our stove

Camp 4 – Oasis in the Sand

Camp 4

NickyWell this camp doesn’t look much, but I was super glad to find a patch of greenish sand to camp in. It generally means you get less loose sand and therefore less in your mouth, eyes, and hair when you’re trying to eat and dry off ;)

By Day 3 I had been starting to get rather hacked off with being a sticky human shaped lump of sandpaper :) But luckily we’d managed to camp next to a stream that night and get a bit of a wash, so technically by the end of Day 4 here we’re still ‘fresh’ ;)

We found some amazing flowers in this little oasis springing from a ground covering succulent plant. Big fist-sized lillypad-like flowers in pink and yellow. Really beautiful to see bright colours after days of beige ;) Although you can’t complain! Haha

Utea Park, Hukatere

Utea Park

Jungle Camp

Jungle Camp

Doctor Cookie Administers the Medicinal Rum

Doctor Cookie

CookieThe riggers of coming down Taumatamahoe took the wind out of Nicky and the next section was supposedly ‘no camping’, so we treated ourselves to an early camp at the edge of the forest.

Noises In The Night…

Noises In The Night....!

NickyKeep your wits about you in the jungle.. You never know what’s peering at you through the foliage! We camped in the jungle 3 nights ( and one more nearby ) and once the sun goes down all sorts of mysterious things start to squeak, stomp, flap, trot, and heavy breath over your tent! I swore blind that someone crept past our tent at 2am the first night mumbling… A hunter maybe.. “Or was it a large bird? Or wait a minute there’s a horse print there.. Are there wild horse here?? Or was it a wild pig you reckon ?” Whatever it was it shit me right up! :D

The half asleep paranoid thoughts of all sorts of hoofed animals and hunters with guns roaming about at night swirling around my head made it tricky to sleep even after a full days exploring :) But the weirdest thing was these shrieking noises. I think they might have been possums. Only heard these one evening ( you’ll find it why in the Possum post )…

Update: When we finally got to town a few days later I kept hearing on the news how this school teacher from Kawakawa (not far away) had been shot in the head by a deer hunter a few days ago while brushing her teeth only 4 meters inside in the forest… Really sad news, and also pretty worrying as a tourist sleeping in the forest at night.

Haruru Falls Motel/Campsite

Haruru Falls Motel/Campsite

Bizarrely today has been the day of friendly Kiwi folk, this morning our motel manager kindly drove us to the bus stop in Kaitaia, in KeriKeri an old woman stopped us in the street and asked us if we’d like to stay in her house for a week while she was away (very tempting), and finally the guys at this motel drove us to the supermarket this evening to get some beers! We’re definitely in friendly central at the moment :)