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Published: December 18th 2014
An alleged rest day - always a challenge for the wanderer. But the day actually began restfully enough. A wander across the road to the cute little court house cafe for excellent eggs & bacon with good coffee. A few average provisions collected from the sparsely-stocked village store - to be pulled together into trmpaing food later for whatever tramp tomorrow brings.
But first the afternoon wants filling and farewell spit is only a short drive north. So off the wanderer goes for a visit to Cape Farewell, then a short hike out to Wharariki beach (I'll let the pics do the talking for those two). Then back along to Puponga Farm park and the last point mortal humans can drive to. Now this is a rest day, and the four days of the Wangapeka have definitely left the legs feeling somewhat fatigued, but the spirit is high and the mind is willing so out come the trainers and off up the beach the legs go. Ever since I re-started running all those moons ago, I've had a desire to come here and run to the end of the spit. That's just a dream of course. A: I'm not allowed
to. B: It's something like 26km long so a return run would mean a 52km run, which is about twice as far as I've ever managed to run. And this is sand. The sand near the edge of the lapping, wading-bird filled sea is hard enough to allow running without too much pain but still hard work. Today, in the non-dream world, I run about 4km in (as far as mortals are allowed up the spit), then start across the dunes to catch a sight of the other side. The dunes are soft, high, and very hard work. I end up walking up to the highest of them (leaving three or four false summits behind) - it's an extreme desert-like experience with views stretching out to what seems forever. A magical place. The run back is hard and draining but the spirit is soaring as the body wanes.
Drive back to Collingwood but it's too nice a day to head indoors just yet, so I head for the local beach and head off for a run and scamper along that. I build a fan-club of gulls who follow me noisily most of the way. The sooty oystercatchers are less
After preparing the next day's tramp goods, the day ends watching the sun go down with some food and a couple of beers at the local tavern. Bliss.
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