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Esc reaches western side of Pirongia

  • 05 Sep 2008

Since the last update we have walked from Mangawhai Heads along the beach, over Te Arai Point and down another beautiful beach to Pakiri Beach for an ice-cream. We then headed up a metal road to Pakiri School where Fay and Margaret suggested we do "a little extra."So we did another 2 km in the

hot sun up a vertical hill to the top of Rodney Road. Next morning we set off from the top of Rodney Road and on to Mt Tamahunga.

We could not find our preferred route out and ended up slightly off course - a short stretch up the road and into Govan Wilson Road to the turn-off to Conical Peak and Totara Peak and along forest tracks that dropped steeply to the base of Dome Hill. Up and over and on to the Dome Cafe for a cappuccino.

Once again the leader said "let's do a little extra" so off we went in the hot sun up Kraak Road and through a forestry barrier gate and into unnamed forestry roads. We struggled on to Smyth Road to finish a 12 hour day. Next day was some roads through Kaipara Flats and on forest tracks to another metal track to Moir Hill and down Ahuroa Road.

We walked on to Arthur Dunn's farm and had our lunch with him and his wife under a shady tree in

their garden. Then another 5 km to Puhoi where we canoed to Wenderholm Regional Park and walked to Waiwera Bridge.

We were away early to catch the low tide

to walk around the rocks to Orewa, and on to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula to the Wade River where we met Milson so he could ferry us across the estuary

in his rubber ducky. Another walk along the coast to Dacre Cottage where we had arranged to meet Bill. But Alas! the road was a rough farm track and we had to walk about 7 km to get out. The next day we were joined by Pauline Lawes and Miriam Beatson and they escorted us down all the lovely East

Coast beaches to Devonport. A brilliant sunny day with pohutukawas in full bloom, people swimming and the ladies to tell us the history of the area.

We met the CEO of Te Araroa (Geoff Chapple) at the Devonport Wharf and went with him for a very welcome iced orange juice and champagne. The 18th was Jim's birthday. We were away early to catch the 7am ferry and set off down

Tamaki Drive. We were among shops so we stopped several times for milkshakes and coffees on our way to Whitford. Milson had to leave for

Taranaki and Anne joined us. Another day and more roads to Hunua Falls.

The next day we leapfrogged to Pioneer Road on the motorway so we could take advantage of the fact that the earthmoving machinery was not working. We

were able to keep off the motorway most of the way and finished at the Meremere Dragstrip. We are really enjoying the help of our support crew.

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