Paihia to …..,
Yes, I have discontinued walking the TA, but fellow walker, Ian – who I’d met at Cape Reinga, was continuing on, and I decided to accompany him for a few kms. There was a nice walking trail around the hills and coves from Paihia to Opua, and then a short ferry ride across the inlet to link up with the walking trail to Russell. After another 4km our paths diverged – Ian facing another 30+km over a hilly gravel road to the east coast, and my somewhat easier 5km walkway to Russell. At least I knew there was a place to buy lunch at my destination; Ian is facing a few days of eating whatever he is carrying!
Russell is a quaint town – perhaps even quainter given the dearth of day trippers. I’m sure it is less than pleasant when overwhelmed with cruise ship passengers jostling for souvenirs of New Zealand’s first capital. I made the trek up to the flagpole, absorbed the history, the scenery, and the bird’s eye view of all the high end (and often foreign owned) luxury real estate. It’s mostly empty of course due to covid.
A pleasant day’s walk of 16km. Not bad for someone recently retired from walking the TA.