Day 14-19 | 401km Paihia to Whangarei, on the Trail of Angels
On Te Araroa, one learns rather quickly the meaning of a “trail angel”. Trail angels in the tramping lingo refer to people who out of their good will assist and care for trampers, for instance by offering water, food or accommodation. We met quite a few of them over the past week!
The day we continued our hike from Paihia, it started raining hard – just when we had thought we’d been lucky with the weather! After the rainy 5km beach walk to Opua we got onto a car ferry to cross to the other side of the bay. On the ferry, we met a local sailor who had moved to New Zealand over 10 years ago after sailing his boat all the way down from San Francisco. He invited us to his boat for a beer. He and his family live in the boat in Whangarei. He even offered to take us down to Whangarei with his boat, but we said we’d stick to the track and meet again in Whangarei.
On our first day towards Whangarei (a 137km section) we walked several hours up a river. The river tramp ended up being much tougher than expected – huge rocks and deep corners kept us constantly alert which was rather tiring. Despite the technical side to the river, the views were absolutely stunning and the Russell forest so gorgeous.