Tuesday 24 October 2023

Te Ara Hura, Day 2 - a day of two halves

With thanks to Walk Waiheke for this famil.

We were told that today would be 'long but flat' so it was a bit disturbing to start with a very steep climb up from Onetangi, past some gorgeous homes, through a reserve to the road at the top. We followed it to Bruce Plested's place, which is actually a couple of big farms where, now at retirement age, he spends his time titivating the land, for our pleasure.

And it was a real pleasure, to trail through his rolling paddocks, past a big flock of sheep with bouncy lambs, and across another with a herd of curious heifers. The townies amongst us were alarmed at their boldness, and then astonished when one beast, caught on the wrong side of the fence, jumped it like a horse. 

There were some beautiful stands of ancient pohutukawa, which are going to be spectacular next month when their red flowers bloom; and I enjoyed looking down into all the little bays around the coast. We appreciated our morning tea on a headland with great views.

Then, though, we left the farm and hit the road, which Sarah said we were lucky had been dampened by the short, sharp rain that had swept over us, so wasn't dusty, as usual. That was the only thing good about it - it wound on and on, up and down, up and down, unsealed and bumpy, for SO long. Our various feet, knees and hips complained and we all got a bit fed up with it, only momentarily diverted by occasional views out over the water. The biggest island is Pakatoa, once a resort where a young Russell Crowe, under the name Rus le Roq, was an entertainer and bingo caller. It's for sale, if you've got a spare $40-odd million.

We had lunch by the beach at the Man O' War winery, which was, sadly, shut; and then hit the sodding road again, as above. I decided that Sarah's suggestion to adopt an 'intention', to be in the moment, was a bad idea, since here and now was all about aching leg muscles, sore feet and panting. I could have done with rising above all that; or at least distracting myself with trivia.

But we ploughed on, and on, and finally made it to the pick-up point at Orapiu, where I gratefully collapsed into Kate's car and silently groused about the 'flat' part of the official description of today's route. And tomorrow? 'Challenging'. Can't wait.

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