Day one. Cape Reinga to the Hokianga Harbor 150kms 1963 meters
Today was always going to be a tough one, but I didn’t know just how tough it was to be.
The weather wasn’t great, the Cape lighthouse couldn’t be seen due to heavy fog. Which made for a dramatic depart as i disappeared off into the mist.
The first 60km was great until my knee issues resurfaced, it gradually got worse until it felt like something was stabbing my knee with every pedal revolution.
Then the gluten free bars that I had been consuming turned out to have something contaminated in them that made my body react.
(Emily: Jason follows a gluten free diet mostly because of my gluten intolerance. He finds that having given it up, and then assessing for any changes in his energy levels, it wasn’t doing him any favours eating it. Interestingly the main grain in these bars is oats. Oats have a protein in them called avenin, which is similar to gluten, and often in the same way as gluten isn’t well tolerated. Suffice to say in Jason’s case here something didn’t work for him!!)
After lunch with Emily and Freddie, a quick Nana nap and I was back on the road, only to be greeted with torrential rain, thunderstorms, lightning and a tough climb up the Mangamuka Gorge.
So, I couldn’t climb seated due to knee pain, but every time I got out of the saddle a wave of nausea would take over and the weather wasn’t helpful. I was wondering what I had got myself in to?
However, I made it. I was extremely happy to finish the day, get out of the rain and settle in for the evening. The night was spent in a hut at the Tree House, which is an upmarket backpackers, just up from the Hokianga ferry, in Rawene.
I have never been so proud to see Jason ride off into the mist. The start of his big adventure and an extremely impressive challenge. I have been to the Cape a couple of times prior to this trip but I have never seen it shrouded in fog. For those of you that haven’t been to this sacred place, there is a ethereal feeling unlike any other.
Whilst it is the meeting point of the Tasman sea and the Pacific Ocean. It is also a place of significance to Maori. It is believed that here, after death, all Maori spirits travel up the coast and over the windswept vista of the headland, known as Te Rerenga Wairau. There is an 800 year old Pohutukawa tree which clings to the cliff on the point. They are said to be launched into the next life by traveling from here, down into the sea and underwater to the Three Kings Islands. Here they say their last farewell before they return to the land of their ancestors, Haiwaiiki-A-Nui, in the Pacific. It is a place that really does have a sense of spiritual significance.
And so in Jason’s place a different journey has begun. One that will challenge the mind and body. The goal to reach Bluff in 14 days time.
I was impressed with the Aupouri peninsula. I got to tear around on a couple of beautiful beaches on the east coast. So many new smells. I loved the way the white white sand squeeked under my feet. The ocean doesn’t taste good though, I wouldn’t recommend drinking it.
Daddy left and really all I wanted to do was run up the road with him. Unfortunately mum would never keep up so we jumped in the car and it rained for the rest of the day. Highlight of my day was when I met some lovely girls at the back packers. Managed to get my pat quota in for the day. All in all I am enjoying the freedom that being away from home has allowed me.