Really tough day on the beach, we had a beautiful headwind, a dazzling sun, and 33km of sand to keep us company. We’re both feeling very sore tonight but happy that we’re done with 90 mile beach (there will be other beaches) and the first real section of the trail. A fairly uneventful day overall. We did experience our first brief New Zealand storm but by the time we’d put on pack covers and rain jackets it had stopped. I ended up hiking with my rain jacket on (with the hood up) all day in an attempt to keep the sun off.
About the one eventful thing that did happen was my encounter with a gang of seagulls that spent about 1km dive bombing me. I had to actually wave my hiking poles at them to keep them at bay. As you can see from the above photo the headwind rendered my sun hat ineffective. We head off for a different challenge tomorrow with the start of the Northern forests. We’ll be on steep and muddy climbs and descents through thick bush and I’m sure will be missing the beach after a day or two.