Auckland/Ferry Terminal(369)-Ambury Park Campground(381.3)
Campsite Elevation: 23ft/7m
The forecast for today was for rain all day. Yesterday, I texted Becky and felt out if she was ok to do a day in rain or if she was more inclined to double zero. Her response was, “NZ won’t hike itself, so we gotta do it.” Yep, I think Becky has what it takes! Given the camping options, we only needed to do a half day of hiking. The woman Becky stayed with was kind enough to drop us off downtown at the ferry where we left off the other day. We set off just before noon as the drizzle came down. Today was the first of two days walking urban hiking through Auckland. Being downtown to start, there were a lot sidewalks protected from the rain and that was nice.
Despite the rain, it was a much more enjoyable day than we expected and we had fun. The majority of the day followed Auckland’s 9mi/16km Coast to Coast route that goes from the Waitemata Harbour and Pacific Ocean on one side, to the Manukau Harbour and Tasman Sea on the other. The waterways between the two were historical used by Maori to transport goods from one side to another.The path wound through Auckland really well, passing through the University of Auckland, many great parks, along the coast, and along two extinct volcanoes. It was warm and humid out, so the umbrella was sufficient, and half the day Becky didn’t even use her rain jacket and didn’t mind just getting rained on. If it had to rain for a full day, I’m glad it was today when we had countless options to step out of it.
Partway through, we saw another TA hiker we met the other day named Angeline (from US). We overlapped briefly and then Becky and I stopped for lunch at Burger King, which had “flaming fast free wifi,”great prices, and the first free refills of fountain drinks we’ve seen all trip. Even on a rainy day, we were happy to get thick chocolate milkshakes.
After lunch, our next stop about an hour later was our resupply at the cheapest grocery store out here, Pak ‘n’ Save. Kinda like a Costco in the US. It was great! We’ve yet to really need a full resupply with all the towns we’ve been going to, but this one seemed like we needed a full five days since we decided not to resupply at the next pricier option. I kicked myself for not photographing the resupply items, and will make an effort to do that on the next big one since I know people have asked me about that. It is exciting to think we might actually go a few days without walking through a town big enough to have a resupply or major food. Becky is challenging herself to cut back on the soda purchases, which have been accessible nonstop basically the last two weeks. The caffeine withdrawal may be tough, but hopefully it won’t last long.
The one camping option we seemed to have was a very basic campground called Ambury that was along the coast just after Manukau Harbor. It was $15NZ/$11US each for a spot among others in a grassy field, water, and pit toilets. We also found out that there is a shower back a couple hundred meters that TA hikers can use as well that isn’t for the general public. We arrived about 6pm and Angeline was also camped there. She uses Hyperlite Mountain Gear, which is similar to Zpacks in that it’s all made of cuben fiber. It’s pricey, but good lightweight tents and packs.Today is Thanksgiving in the US! It is tough to see the family gathered, all the photos on fb, and to see all those juicy turkeys! At the grocery store, I was able to get enough for us to have our own hikertrash Thanksgiving dinner. It was Becky’s first (of course) and we did it in style in the doorway of the bathroom since it was raining. Yep, one to remember for sure! We made hot chocolate, with mashed potatoes, gravy, and some warmed up thick slices of turkey that we were able to mix all together in our pots. It worked out quite well! Dessert was a sleeve of Oreo Cookies and a Little Debbie Brownie! I have some brownies this leg from that delayed package from the US that I finally got in Auckland that also had my favorite Crystal Light drink mixes for the rest of the hike. It was a fun day and it stopped raining after dinner so we could pitch our tents. It’s going to be a field of condensation for sure, but at least tomorrow will be clear to dry things out. The sun even poked through a bit over the water and there was a nice view tonight.
Oh one more thing. One of my worst fears happened tonight. I dropped my Diva Cup in the pit toilet! Nooooo! Fortunately, Becky had some tampons, but I may need to get creative in a couple days if I don’t find some supplies tomorrow. Dammit! Those Diva Cups aren’t cheap and I hope I can find one in NZ, ugh!
I think that counts as a pretty awesome Thanksgiving!…Diva took a dive…oh well what’s one of your trips without losing something. I’ve missed several posts and am lost. I need to go back and read past episodes to catch up! …Looks little damp there 🙁
Haha, read past episodes, love it!
Glad you made the best of it — a memorable Thanksgiving to say the least!
I wanted to tell you about 1 thing that’s coming up … I know you have a lot of resources from other bloggers, etc, but not sure if it’s been highlighted:
Camping at Hunua Falls — It would probably be 2 days from where you are. A little off trail, but it’s a beautiful camp spot (drive in though, so you won’t get the full-on wilderness experience you are seeking, but still).
Oh thanks! Looks like we will hit that midday tomorrow unfortunately, but hope to make it to a hut with campsites tomorrow night!
NOOOO not the diva cup!! Fingers crossed you can find another one or figure something out. That seriously sucks.
But otherwise looks like a really interesting and fun day 🙂 love following along on all of your journeys, happy Thanksgiving!!
It’s rather eerie how much Becky looks like you in that milkshake picture.
Now that you mention it, we do look alike there funny enough.
Trail mommy. ❤
My mini me!
Yikes on the Diva Cup! You may want to check out http://putacupinit.com/chart/ to get an idea of which one might substitute.
You gotta just love that Thanksgiving in the door of the bathroom. Some things are just that important!
Well, I always learn from you! Being of a certain age where menstruation has ong since passed me by, I had to Googke Diva Cup! Thanks for the link, Chris! Cool!
A memorable Tday for sure! Haha I love it!