Distance: 25 km
Grade: Moderate to Hard (this is my assessment and totally subjective 😊)
It was raining as we left Nelson, however we thought this might be a good thing given we were about to be walking on the beach. At least the rain will dampen down the sand somewhat – well that was my hope anyway.
We had about 17 km to do on the beach with the rest getting to the beach and then to the campsite.
We got off to a late start, then to compound this we stopped at the kiosk which was just down the road from the caravan park for a couple of supplies and last minute meal stop a so new we would get in to camp late.
It was quite overcast for most of the day which was good as I’d forgotten sunscreen and was getting really burnt. The beach and change of scenery was great in the beginning, however this for me soon wore off.
Coming from Nelson with full packs (6days of food and other bits picked up made my legs work out like they had never worked out before! This was worse then leg day in the gym with my personal trainer Tom!
This video was taken at the beginning of the day when I was fresh and alive – 7 hours later it was a very different story.
The sun came out and beamed down all day, the water no was so strong it was unbalancing, the wind whipped the sand past you making it feel like I was getting ‘sanded’, I got too close to the sea and feet got soaked, sand got into the massive blister that had development under the ball of my foot (which kept busting and refilling as I walked) and at some stage I threw my pack down in disgust and had a mini meltdown – but there was nothing to be done but to get up and keep walking.
Both Frank and I had bought our fly net hats which we couldn’t have hiked without. Even though the pictures are a bit blurry (I had my phone in a snap lock bag to protect it from the rain and sand) you can see how many freeloaders we were carrying at any one time.
By the time we entered the camp site I was over the beach and wasn’t in the best of moods. My only hope was that we would be alone at the camp and I wouldn’t have to be talking to people and be up beat.
However in saying that, once at camp and after a meal you quickly settle down and are happy just to not be walking anymore.
The Hiker registration book made me feel better as others had also indicated they had had a rough time on the beach as well. I ate everything I had planned to eat that day at camp, just so I didn’t have to carry leftovers the next day.
Going to bed early tonight as we are walking 16.5km tomorrow with most of this on the beach. 😬