The snorting during the night came from Claire’s side of the tent.

At first we thought it a pig but it turned out to be a marauding Opossum.  Turning on the head light had it scurry off in another tents direction.  I forgot to place food under someone else’s tent fly before retiring which is a habit of the past.

Fellow trekkers were all smiles and full of life, de-bunking their sites and re-packing stuff to make it more comfortable to carry.  We were no different.  It was a bid farewell to new friends made not knowing if we were see them again on the trail.

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Didn’t take long.  We caught up to Ashley and Meg from the US.  It was Meg’s first trip outside the US and we raised eyebrows at her coming down under to do the TA as her first overseas destination.  Both had done parts of the Appalachia Trail so considered this to be a safer destination to venture out onto the planet and do.  Very inspiring.

Discussing Meg’s ‘Mumma Birding’ food preparation technique was also a new experience for us when she prepared dinner last evening!

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From the elevation, 90 Mile Beach expanded into a distant sea haze.  We descended the board stairway and were soon leaving imprints.  There can be a shortage of water along this stretch so we topped up water bottles at Te Paki Stream,

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By now we had trekked 8 kilometres.  Lasse had caught up with us and too filled up.  A discussion ensued as to what further distance we should walk.  The next camp site was another 20 kilometres.   A hell of a long way still full kit with extra water.  Do we venture off into the forest at a lesser distance and wild camp or push through to the Bluff Campsite?

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John caught us and both him and John being half our ages had a pace that allowed us to keep up for a short time.  We managed 3 kms per hour and after 9kms, our pace slowed down due to body fatigue.  When it did, we assured them to walk at their own pace and soon, they were a distant blur.  Ashley decided to hobble with them because if she had of sat down she would not have got up again.

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To the left, the coastline was a combination of eroded sand dunes with sand grasses and a back drop of planted pine forest.  To the right, the sea a combination waves breaking with the water depositing a whipped lather of suds where the water reached.  In-between lay bodies of blue bottle jelly fish in their thousands.  They were accompanied by washed up debris of all types of stuff.  Sand hoppers, crabs, Shags and Herons the wildlife along the beach.  Sea gulls too circled waiting for us to keel over from tiredness so that they could peck out our eyes.

Departing from Twilight at 8.30am, we finally shed the pack for the final time at The Bluff Campground at 6pm.

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The last 3 kms were hard playing with both body and mind.  Exhaustion does that to you.  Beach walking is way more harder than expected.  The blisters had arrived, both of us, both feet.

Pitching the tent revealed a tear in a roof seam on the inner shell.  Shit.  Not a good situation to be in with so many more days ahead having to shelter with the thing.  Duck-tape as a temporary fix, worry about the dilemma tomorrow.

It was a case of attending to the feet (duck-tape has multiple uses), getting some food and water into the bodies and then, to bed to rest them.

It didn’t matter which way we lay.  It hurt.