Missing a supply replenishment due to limited places to do so yesterday meant a kilometre backward walk to a Four Square to stock up. Getting a lift back to camp on the return proved positive as Josie lived a hundred metres or so from the entrance and offered to take us three kilometres up the dirt road to the beach. Bonus.
It was the last of the significant beaches to be trodden today and different because of the two tidal river crossings and being accosted by feathered parents. We were a couple of hours on the incoming tide meaning imprints left in the sand were at a reasonable pace. By the end of this day, we had got our monies worth of work out from the soft sand, the calf muscles certainly had paid for it. They ached like never before.
The first river crossed was knee to half way up the thigh. Never the less, care had to be taken so as not to lose footing, keel over and submerge. Another hour later and it would have been up too if not above the navel hole.
Dotterel’s and Oyster Catchers were also scattered along the beach. When two Oyster parents started to swoop our heads, we knew we had encroached on their nesting ground. Damn it if the two babies weren’t playing chicken with us by not moving off the pathway we had to step as the attack from above became more violent. Can just read it now, two found dead on beach with multiple stab wounds. Cause of death, beak impalement! Little buggers! Cute though when they did scurry off.
The second river crossing was more strategic. Mike had been waiting for a couple of hours for the high tide to turn. When we scuffed up dragging our feet, it had and so it was then a matter of determining which point to cross. We were going to get wet no matter the point to point.
A call to the campground owner had us walk further up-stream and on his advice through waving arms, I entered the water with no back pack to do a test crossing. It went waist deep at the deepest part and so I returned to carry the first of the back packs on my shoulders. A flounder whipped up the dirt in front of me below and there was a moment of relapse to dump the pack (it was Claire’s) and dive in to try to capture the thing. They make great eating over barbque coals!
Backwards and forwards a couple of times as a pack horse and we had made it to Pakiri. The coolness of the flowing water did sooth the calf muscles temporarily. With pending down pouring rain, all seven of us opted for a roof over our heads instead of tenting.
It’s was ridiculous going to bed early like we did. The small comforts of a mattress and bed are there to be enjoyed.
The snoring is so much better!