Day 3: The Bluff to Aupouri Forest Past Hukatere/ 32km ( Post 3 of 4) .
Occassional shell middens were the only landmarks we passed and I wished they were marked on the map, just so I knew where we were.
“What if we overshoot Hukatere because we miss it?” I kept asking Bearclaw. .
Hukatere was nothing more that a small holiday park campground and lodge. If it was behind the solid dune that had been running for miles and miles to our left, I was sure we would easily walk right by it without ever seeing it.
As it turned out, miles before Hukatere we could see their solitary green flag marker waving atop the dune.
Crippled beyond words from a brutal day on the beach, watching us race towards that lone flag was like watching a slow motion walker race in a geriatric ward.
“Oh, I’m passing you.” I joked with Becky, a tall blonde section hiker we’d hiked with on and off since Twilight. .
"Oh no, you don’t!” She laughed back, as we maxed out at a half a mile an hour hobble. .
Tossing our packs down in the first genuine patch of shade we’d seen for days, we rested against the outer wall of the community kitchen and gulped down the pot of crisp, cold well. .
Becky removed her hiking boots. Her feet were nearly solid blister. Poor thing. She opted to get a dorm room and stay a while. .
We, on the other hand, opted to keep our shoes on our feet. At ten dollars per person to pitch a tent in the backyard (a price we would soon learn was actually a good deal), we reluctantly hobbled on, intent on finding a free place to stealth camp, or as the Kiwi’s called it, Freedom Camp. .
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