Slack Packing to Wellington, home turf a day pack and beds the whole way to the end of the North Island, I was glad to downsize the back pack for the last stage of this section. Day 80 started with a walk down the Waikanae river and over to Paraparaumu Beach, I had planned to go through to Pukerua bay but the weather was great and i was in no hurry, by the time i got to Paekakariki i was ready for a beer and then hopped on the train back to where i started. The next day unfolded in similar fashion the Escarpment track was fantastic, windy but the day was hot and the views back up the coast amazing. By the time i got to Paramata I was ready to call it a day.
This ment day 82 was going to have to be a long day if i was going to finish before christmas, now only 10 days away. My brother dropped me off in Paramata at 6.30am on the way to golf. Really who tees off that early. No worries, close to 50 kms to the end of the North. I quickly walked the section I should have done the day before then joined the sunday morning walkers up Colonial knob, hard work but apparently it never gets easier, with great pleasure I pointed out to them all I only ever planned to do this hill once. It was a windy day but once out of the wind and on the old coach road it quickly got hot again. That didn’t last long as the next hill of the day came up fast, well pretty slow actually, if i thought the morning was windy Mt Kaukau was in a whole new ball park. A few Mtn bikers explained to me they had had to hold on to there bikes firmly going over a fence as the wind thought they were trying to fly kites, horizontal full suspension bikes. I needed the full pack now to keep me on the ground. The wind didn’t disappoint, walkers were retreating off the hill in droves but the views of Wellington were pretty special. Once at the top it was flying trip down into Ngaio through to Wadestown and eventually the Botanic Gardens and down to the Waterfront. Te Papa seemed to be a good place to stop for the day. 39 kms, 12 hrs and 11 kms left to finish off in the morning.
The last 11km was a walk around the water front then following the southern walkway over Mt Victoria eventually through to Island Bay the southern point of the North Island section. About a week overdue for a rest but already looking forward to the South Island sections.
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