Friday 20 September
Orewa to Weiti River jetty (11 km)
We were met at the Orewa Estuary Arts Centre by Margaret, Chazel and Fran, our three solidarity walkers for the day. We also connected briefly with the editor of Hibiscus Matters, the peninsula knock-and-drop newspaper. So far, this is the only news publication that has been interested in what Hannah is doing to increase awareness about mental health recovery. Oh… TV One and TV Three are going to be very, very sorry one day that they ignored Mind Over Miles! When they are each wearing a strait jacket and are incarcerated in a high security unit, we shall visit them and compassionately poke soggy little bits of currant bun under their cell doors. If they had been nice to us (as they will discover when it is too late), we would have slid pieces of biltong and freeze-dried mango strips to them instead.
Anyway, if we make it through the editorial process and competing news items to feature in Hibiscus Matters in two weeks’ time, that will be lovely. This photo of the editor taking a photo of us was snapped by Chazel, who claims I was standing very pretentiously, with my legs arranged in the Rachel Hunter Position. Oh yes! If I were not a quinquagenarian waddling across New Zealand in a state of largely unwashed dishevelment, I would certainly be a supermodel.
It was much noisier and much more fun to walk in a crowd and we had lots of laughs. Despite the gloomy forecast, the weather was good. There was light drizzle for a few short periods, but nothing too dampening. Due to the tide being high, we were unable to walk on Red Beach, so we tramped a stretch on the road, rejoining the trail at Glenelg Rd, where the track goes along the cliff top.
And now for a tutorial on tramping equipment…. In this photo you can see Margaret’s marvellous pink paisley brolly (which broke after two minutes) and Fran’s flask of coffee, which lasted all the way to the Weiti River. Yes, Fran carried that flask for three-and-a-half hours. She is a delicate sipper and knows how to make a beverage last. The item strapped to my left arm is my cell phone in a waterproof case. The cell phone is for calling the rescue helicopter in case we break bones in inaccessible locations. By this I mean geographical locations, not physiological ones. So far, The Lancet has not published an article on an inaccessible human bone. The cell phone can also be used, while waiting for the helicopter to arrive, to make salon appointments for supermodel upper lip waxing and foot callus removal. The cell phone cover is (according to the blurb on the packaging) fully waterproof to a depth of 15 metres. I do not know if this is true. No-one has yet been able to hold me under the water until the bubbles stopped coming up. Meanwhile, the cover makes me look like I am important and know where we’re going. I don’t, of course, as Hannah will testify, but appearances are everything in the world of modelling.
We mobbed another walker, called Jan, in the D’Oyly Reserve. Like the cytoplasm of an amoeba, we sort of engulfed her and streamed along with her, the poor soul only just managing to give us the slip at Brightside Rd.
We found a quirky postbox to add to the gallery and after an easy morning’s tramp we were all pretty chipper when we arrived at the Weiti River. There, we were welcomed by an official committee of very newly hatched and fluffy ducklings. Aww!