If you missed my last blog on how to prepare for Cape Brett, you can catch it HERE.
Here is my version of what actually went down
So I decided to walk in hubby’s soccer boots! Since my new hiking boots are too small and make my toes numb! Our colleague, says they will give a better grip at least on the winter track, although I am worried about blisters. I put some gel sole inserts in them so I couldn’t feel the sprigs, I wore a sport strapping sock and a work sock on top. The boots were a little bit too big but proved to be quite useful on the downhills. No toe jarring. I have since learned that our colleague was half-joking about wearing soccer boots. Lucky for me…(and him) it worked out!
The night before was spent getting all the last minute essentials together, (or what I thought were essentials). In hindsight, I could have done with taking fewer things. I am all about being prepared for all situations. But when it comes to actually carrying it all on an advanced walk, mostly uphill, well somethings gotta give. Some things I could have left behind: an extra packet of pasta, a few extra snacks, a tin of Four Bean Mix (and really who wants to eat that anyway). I found the compromise of food a little hard to fathom! But all these little things add up in small weights…
TIP: Brother says it’s best to pack the heavier items closer to your back for balance. He told me this after my walk.
I made a tuna pasta for my lunch and filled four litres of drinking water. Having read that the water at the hut had a sea spray warning, we were advised to take our own. Though the hut water was fine to boil and use for cooking. I really wanted to make sure I wasn’t having salty water for coffee the next morning. Priorities right? I mean this girl will carry water and coffee supplies to the ends of the earth if it meant she could have a decent coffee in the morning! I nearly even took a plunger! Thankfully the Holy Spirit spoke to my conscious and told me to buy plunger coffee bags instead.
Feeling a little nervous, but knowing there wasn’t much more I could do to prepare anymore, I finally went to bed about midnight. I don’t recommend that. But that is usually how I organise myself, in the last hours of the night.
Nearly an early start:
I set my alarm for 6am. It didn’t go off, so I woke up at 7am.
We had planned to kick off the walk at 8am.
Waited for the girls at Oke Bay Staircase. Quick pre-walk photo.
Commenced @ 8.45am.
These ladies were awesome to walk with. Encouraging and positive all the way. We all had our weaknesses/strengths somewhere, where we could balance each other out along the way. Walking is a great way to get to know people. You gotta love the chats, and moments of silence, where you are just trying to focus on breathing…or taking in the views.
The first part of the walk, I was really quite puffed. It took a while for my body to realise I wasn’t going to be stopping any time soon. Eventually, my endurance reserves kicked in along the way, and the puff narrowed out a bit…but it is all quite a cardio work out.
The first viewing point looks over Oke Bay, Urupukapuka Island, Moturua Island, Roberton Island, and the mainland further ahead. The Bay of Islands is such a beautiful blue serenity kinda sugar rush. I am loving getting my bearings around the place, especially at a higher viewpoint.
More great views along the way, and suddenly you come across a compost toilet site. So, of course, we used it. And of course, I took a photo of my view out across the land while I peed.
From the 9km mark, the walk is actually pretty good! Right up until Deep Water cove, then she’s all a hard slog from there! I had read that the last part was the hardest. They weren’t wrong! Particularly as you are mostly spent by the time you get to this part.
The most memorable thing my friend said to me: Are you Ok? You are looking a bit paley…Well, now she mentioned it I did feel a bit faint. She offered to carry something for me, fed me chocolate, and watered me. Such a sweetie! It was then I had realised I had not put my backpack waist strap back around, from the last stop, so my pack was very much digging deep into my shoulders! A quick adjustment and further we climbed. I was a little envious of my friend’s fitness!
I think this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.
Are we there yet (x10)? The others were a bit nervous walking along the last ridge. I don’t blame them! But for me, this is where I came alive again. I literally stood on the edge of a very high drop off, comfortably taking photos of the sunset, making sure I looked all around me. This is what we climbed for I thought. This is it!
I found the girls with their packs off, looking rather disheartened, getting torches out of their bags. We still had another 1.2km to get to the actual hut. Surprise! But just over the hill from the highest point, we see the lighthouse, views to die for (which by now you kinda feel like doing), and the red roof of the hut. Hooray! We followed a nice grassy Zig-Zagged path all the way down to the bottom of the hill, where 4 other trampers greeted us with smiles, well dones, candle lights (as there is no power there) and their aromas of dinner cooking over the gas stoves. The old lighthouse keepers cottage was very reasonable. An area to kick off your shoes, which we couldn’t do fast enough! 3 Bedrooms filled with bunk beds, a kitchen, and compost toilets out the back. (They were even well stocked with hand sanitizer)
This group of Mums put together what we had brought for a shared dinner. A cream cheese tomato pasta, with salami, spinach, and herbs, topped with parmesan cheese and avocado. Followed by Chocolate and a HOT Cuppa.
Sleeping was OK – Considering my body ached all night and the fire alarm went off at 2am. Either everyone was fast asleep or too dead to get up and check, I found my body achingly leaping out of bed to see what was going on. Only for the alarm to stop on its own, leaving me puzzled, and the others asking what I was doing?
I was up at 6.50am to walk halfway up to the lighthouse, to see the sunrise. It was a cloudy morning, so not much to view. Still, the thought of being way out here on my own was really quite satisfying.
I returned to enjoy a hot brew of coffee. The girls were making a healthy overnight soaked porridge with dried fruits for breakfast. 4 other trampers wanted to catch the Water Taxi back with us, and 2 of our girls championed on walking home after breakfast. We took some gear for them, and waved them on their merry way!
Bob and Louise were so great to deal with for the water taxi back to Rawhiti.
Plus Bob gave us a history tour on the way home which was just brilliant. Having originally planned to catch the water taxi back from Deepwater cove, as it is 90% more chance of a pick up there with the sea conditions, we were stoked we could catch it at the landing of Cape Brett this time around. They literally pick you up off the rocks there, so not always ideal, and pick up there is not always guaranteed. Always proceed with caution when trying to board the boat. You will at least get wet feet. Back at Rawhiti, you can pay for the taxi with Cash or EFTPOS.
Off the boat, I was greeted by my Hubby and two darling boys, who apparently missed their Mummy very much. Mstr 5 cant wait to do the track with me sometime. Hmmm…one day son, one day very far away in the future for you.
Good on ya Cape Brett. You were a great challenge, and a pearler to visit.
I will be back again.