Ollie was kidnapped to Northland and has now resided in the area for over twenty years!
He saw an opportunity to shuttle people up to the Cape after the last bus drop off point in Kaitaia and has done it ever since. His commentary of history about the gum diggers and trees (Kauri) of the swamp to narrow bollock bridges and the old Air Force base co-existed by Kiwi’s and Yanks was interesting.
We passed a number of lasts on the road travelled – a Butcher, a Fire Station, an English Cemetry, Catholic Church, mobile coffee shop, hotel, and power pole.
It was his effort to calm the anticipation emotions and once he waved us off, we were on our own. Nerves, excitement, adrenalin didn’t matter as the breeze that greeted us was blustery as was evidenced through white caps on the two meeting waters. The back packs were hoisted onto the backs. Eeeeek, they felt heavy and cumbersome. “Come back Ollie, we have changed our minds!” That request blew straight out into the Pacific.
We wobbled down to the Lighthouse standing its ground solid; the pole housing the yellow signs with place names with distances shook violently. Like other tourists, we took our place below and had our photo taken at the iconic land spot.
Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Rēinga) marks the separation of the Tasman Sea (to the west) from the Pacific Ocean. For Māori, these turbulent waters represent the coming together of male and female – and the creation of life. For us, it was our moment to begin a new adventure.
But first, we had to ascend back up the pathway toward the carpark before we hung a right onto the Te Araroa trail itself. The view up the coastline was far, green and brown landscape met blue and white of ocean. We took a moment to ask that question we often do now that we were laden with packs about to take the first steps due south … “what the @#*% were we thinking?”