Look at this tree. Just look at it. Isn’t it unbelievable!
I guess photos can’t do it justice. This is the Kauri Tree. These trees grow up to 50 m tall, have trunks up to 16 m wide, and live for over 2,000 years. It’s not something to see, it’s something to behold. New Zealand possesses the most stunning forests I’ve seen so far. Layers and layers of thick greenery, ferns, moss, vines, mud, tall trees, you name it. There’s magic here!
Our hike to Paihia has gone really well. We met a nice couple from the states who are also hiking the TA. We got generous help from locals, a great couple of hitch hikes and one exceptionally generous fellow, Dan Dan the kayak man, who took our packs for us yesterday in Kerikeri so that we could run here from there. That felt great, and made our 50k day a lot shorter duration.
Now we’re in paradise. Tomorrow we kayak the trail, with friends, no less!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. The trail has been a proper challenge, with steep traverses and lots of slippery mud. I’ve fallen on my face at least 3 times, likely more. Yet, there is something about the forest, even though it’s relentless to hike, it’s got a way of energizing us. We made it to our first zero day, and are so pleased to be spending it in this gorgeous bay with such friendly locals and even a vegan restaurant. Life is great. We’ve gone 247k and we look forward to what this trail holds for us in the future.