Day 22: Zero in Mangawhai Heads
Friday, December 1, 2023 11:34 pm
Location: Mangawhai Heads / The Costal Cow (452.8 km)

I took my second zero in Mangawhai Heads.

  • I slept in a little, which doesn’t really mean much after going to sleep near midnight last night.
  • I decided to zero, on account of CareFree coming back to the trail tomorrow, and Mangawhai being relatively easy to get to from where a bus would drop her off. (Anywhere else I went further ahead in a day would just make it a more complicated hitchhike.)
  • I had a brief conversation with a Dutch and Polish couple, who arrived later in the evening yesterday. Apparently, they’d tried to go to the holiday park, but it “closed” at 6 pm and wasn’t accepting new arrivals after that. (Early closings seems to be the norm in New Zealand.) So they wound up here. This is their third time in New Zealand; they’re currently here for a few months with a conversion van they bought, touring around and hiking various trails.
  • On Saray’s suggestion last night, I went to the restaurant she recommended that had Shakshuka. However, it and several other breakfast dishes were crossed off the menu.
  • Instead, I went to the bakery and got a meat pie and a donut for breakfast.
  • I returned to the hostel, and did some planning for the next few days of hiking.
  • Hungry later, I returned to town to get lunch (a cheeseburger) from the ice cream place I went to yesterday.
  • I picked up resupply enough for four days to Silverdale, about 110 km ahead.
  • In the evening, I returned to Wood Street Pizzeria for more burgers and beer.
  • Back at the hostel, several more guests came in, though no hikers. A group of three asian guys came in, and didn’t really interact with anyone else. There was also a German family, Anita and Matias, and their son, who are in New Zealand for six months traveling. And two other backpackers (though not hikers), who took other beds in the bunk room.

Tomorrow, I’ll leave probably around 8, to get about 5 km ahead to Mangawhai, to meet back up with CareFree, returning from Auckland via a bus ride and a hitch.