Day 18 – Duncan’s and Dragons

Ended up having the Green Bus Stop all to ourselves for the night and we had a great peaceful (and dry!) night sleeping in a little clearing between the vegetables. It was a really nice spot and they even gave us some toast and butter in the morning so we could have a proper breakfast! We hit the road an hour behind normal time as 5km into the hike we would need a boat ride across the bay and our boat guy (Duncan) was playing his morning tennis. We ended up walking right past Duncan playing and he said he’d time it so that he would arrive (by car) right when we did. It worked out perfectly and we were very grateful not to have to wait at all for the crossing. Unfortunately, the timing of our crossing did mean that we would not be able to cross the Ruakaka river as it is way to deep during high tide. Instead we had to skip the beach walk and road walk around until we were past the river, joining up with the trail for the last 6km of beach walking. The road walking wasn’t great but we did pass through Ruakaka and get to have a brief stop at some stores and came across a food truck serving delicious sandwiches and iced coffee that we loaded up on for lunch. Coming off the beach we past through the slightly larger town of Waipu and stopped at the Four Square to restock on a few things (and get my standard two chocolate bars a day). We thought about staying in Waipu (we were probably at about 30km when we hit the town) but had texted ahead to this place called Dragon Spell that was supposed to be really nice for hikers. It was a long a breezy walk to get to the top of the ridge and Dragon Spell and we hit the spot after about 44km for the day and over 11 hours of hiking. There were some amazing views on the way up which certainly helped and Dragon Spell seems like an awesome place from what we’ve seen so far. It’s certainly got the views. The sun was slowly setting on the way up and provided some spectacular views back to Bream Heads and along the beach. On reaching Dragon Spell we were treated to a small glass of wine and a room with a bed, a deck, and a view as we’re the only guests here for the night!

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