Te Araroa Start

Te Araroa Start

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 1 - Cape Reinga to Twilight Beach

Short day, starting off at the Cape around noon. Had a great tour guide on the way. He is doing the trail himself in sections so he gave me tips and even taught me how to catch tuatua (a mollusk of some kind) and eat them. Pretty tasty. Saves me some cooking! 

Anyway, it was a short day of walking but it sure felt long. My shoulders ached and I got pretty good at balancing my bag on the sign posts to give them a break. Other times, I just plopped myself down in the middle of the trail to rest and lean on the heavy pack. I won't lie - I felt very out of shape. But I kept telling myself I can only get stronger from here. (And unlike rucking in the Army, I can stop and rest when I please.) I know I am not on a timeline so I took as many breaks as I needed. This pack has a great set up except it is heavy and the straps are too wide and not made to contour around lady bumps. But my body will get stronger and in a few weeks I hope it won't be any issue. 

I set up camp early. The guide thought I could make it at least to Scott's Point, but I know not to push too hard at the start. So I stopped at the campsite on Twilight Beach. I am glad I gave myself the extra time, just to see how long my evening routine will take. I successfully made a fire (my biggest worry) for my dinner, some New Zealand kind of Ramen. But I learned some lessons about how to do my routine better. Made some mistakes. But hey, the Army taught me how to do an AAR, so I sat down and evaluated my day. Tomorrow my routine will be better. 

Now I am cozy in my sleeping bag (actually need one here unlike Texas), listening to the waves of the Tasman Sea crashing on the shore below, with the sun finally starting to go down. I hope to be asleep soon and praying to God that my body doesn't betray me tomorrow... Which I am sure it will. But, all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other. The journey of a thousand miles (or about 1,800 miles in this case) begins with a single step...

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