Set the alarm this morning.. was a bit mystified about what it was when it actually went off -that's holidays for you- but nevertheless was ready to start walking from my friend's place at the bottom of Kahuterawa Rd just before 6am.
It was noticeably darker than the last time I started this early, and though I could see quite clearly, cars had their headlights on.
For a change, I kept my light merino on for most of the walk today. I also resorted, for the first time walking this route, to wearing my raincoat in a few places, quite a novelty lately.
Up on Greens Rd there were wild blackberries growing in places. Most were still green, but this bunch were clearly on the red side. I will have to come back walking this way in just a few weeks time! It reminded me of the roadside blackberries I found in rural Ireland and even Jersey in July-August 2006... all the more delicious for their accessibility only to walkers!
The walk along Greens Rd was slightly crazier than I have previously experienced. Usually I am making sure I have enough sunblock on for the rest of the walk at this stage. But today there were some wild winds up this way. In some places the wind was at my back, pushing me forward; and in other places it was in my face, hindering me. Spits of rain were part of the wind. Three runners passed me as I headed up the last hill, and talked about how exciting the wind was. With all the bends in the road, and ridges on the hills, the wind was quite unpredictable.
Right at the top of the hill, I usually get a wonderful view out over the plains, but today I saw a rainbow, and could barely make out the features below.
As I descended from Greens Rd though, I quickly left the worst of the winds behind. Ahead of me, stormy looking clouds loomed, but they came to naught.
For the last hour or so, I finally got to take off my merino jersey, slap on more sunscreen, and keep my sunhat close to my face. As always, my feet felt tired towards the end - this walk must be close to 20- 22 km I think- and as always my feet felt relieved to see this last sign, which means only about 350m left to walk to my car!