Tora Coastal Walk - day 3 (CONTAINS VIDEO)
Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
115Trip End Mar 21, 2008
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Today is one of those days when you feel sorry for the colour-blind. The cloudless sky is the deepest of blues and the grass is the richest of greens, like when you pick the most colourful colours on the computer palette, then enhance the saturation.
In the morning we set off to find the wreck of the Opua, which ran aground here back in 1926 when the captain mistook the southern Wairarapa, one of the most rural spots you could hope to find, for Wellington, the nation's capital (!?). We follow the gravel road for a while then drop down to the beach, at which point Mum turns back. Jane and I take our shoes and socks off and saunter along the shore, as the chilly waves lap at our feet and a warm but persuasive sea breeze pushes us along. The beach winds its way on and on until we eventually reach the shipwreck. It is a rather unexciting wreck actually, just a small rusted hulk of metal, propped up on some jagged rocks, like a drunken regular at one of these country pubs.
I am zonked, so I have a little nap and awake slowly and reluctantly for the Mountain View walk. This takes us up a steepish hill to the ridgeline, where the persuasive breeze is more of a forceful gale, swaying the trees like teenagers in a mosh pit and requiring us to lean on a 45 degree angle in order to make headway.
We continue south until we reach the bluff, the last bit of land before the cliffs drop sharply to the sea. Instead of following the map's recommended route, which basically just backtracks the way we came, we decide to take a more direct but much steeper descent down the side of the mountain. From the top it looks manageable but we quickly find ourselves shuffling down, inch by inch, almost vertically.
The following day is the final stage of the walk, a five hour walk back to the Outstation, where we had begun on Thursday. This segment of the trail takes us through some beautiful bush-clad hillside as well as more open farmland and a gradual descent down to the Outstation.
For anyone who may be interested in finding out more about the walk, please visit www.toracoastalwalk.co.nz.
Where I stayed