Got up early so I could have an easy stroll through the city today and really enjoy the walk. But as soon as I got out of my tent my Fijian neighbours came over and invited me for a morning coffee. When I went over there a Maori tramper was there as well already. After a longer chat and a couple of coffees I received my first real Maori greeting – a hongi – this morning. To save me from some typing here the official Wiki definition:
A hongi is a traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand. It is done by pressing one’s nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person at an encounter.
It is used at traditional meetings among Māori people and on major ceremonies and serves a similar purpose to a formal handshake in modern western culture, and indeed a hongi is often used in conjunction with one.
In the hongi, the ha (or breath of life), is exchanged and intermingled. The breath of life can also be interpreted as the sharing of both party’s souls.
Through the exchange of this physical greeting, one is no longer considered manuhiri (visitor) but rather tangata whenua, one of the people of the land. For the remainder of one’s stay one is obliged to share in all the duties and responsibilities of the home people. In earlier times, this may have meant bearing arms in times of war, or tending crops, such as kumara.
When Māori greet one another by pressing noses, the tradition of sharing the breath of life is considered to have come directly from the gods.
Very amazing! What a great start into the day! Thanks Pita!
After seeing millions of sheep already this morning was the first time for me to watch a sheep shearing. Amazing how fast these guys are and how chilled the sheep are.


When I circled around the shore a couple on bikes stopped me

They asked me if I was “on the trail”. When I said yes we chatted for a few minutes and they instantly offered me to stay at their place – downtown – if I would like to. What is wrong with you Kiwis??? I really look like a hobo now (haven’t told you that my shirt has five big holes now – one each on my shoulder where the back straps rub and a couple more on the back and front where I pull my shirt down usually) and you still keep inviting me? Even Katie told me she wouldn’t pick me up anymore (coming to this later)!
I walked over Coronation Rd Bridge into downtown. What a great feeling to walk into the city. I couldn’t stop smiling. I had the biggest grin on my face. Since I have seen so much of the city already during my rest days it really felt like coming home. It already felt a little bit like finishing and accomplishing today. First I climbed One Tree Hill (which has no tree on top anymore).

Then I climbed Mount Eden and I finally could tell – I am back! What a beauty.

I know it’s is arrogant but looking at all the super cool and important city people I felt special knowing that probably none of them had walked here the way I did. I silently enjoyed my little victory and strolled down Queens Street.

This is corner Victoria and Kitchner St. That’s where I spent a lot of time during my rest days in Auckland. The Lufthansa office is right around the corner.

Quick stop at the Icebreaker store which gave me a free pair of socks for wearing them through… No comment.
Then I took the ferry across the harbour to Devenport. A nice view on the city from the boat.

I circled around the coast like on the beach again with some stunning houses along the trail. Puuuh. I guess at one point of time I have to get a job again… ?

And then I arrived at Takapuna Beach where I had been quite a few times already. Home sweet home.

And then as a nice finish for the day – little NOBO Katie already waited for me at the campspot. She was on her way to Auckland and we had a snack and drinks at the beach front cafe to catch up on the last days. After she left I enjoyed a few more beers – city life ?? – and enjoyed the sea view while writing my blog for today. Great day!!! 30km today and off.