It's definitely summer here now and the more north I go, the warmer it gets. This morning I was woken by a gap in the trees letting enough light hit my tent above my head to turn it into a stifling hot room. As soon as I unzipped the rainfly door the cold air rushed in and I was wide awake. I went into my hosts kitchen to make some coffee (I can't wait to not be drinking freeze dried coffee every morning) and some toast.
From there I started heading up highway 35 into the cape. Beautiful beaches and bays kept appearing whenever the road turned back out towards the coast. Yesterday's marvelous tailwind had left me and now I was fighting a big of head/cross winds coming from over the sea. Not entirely unpleasant, given the cool air kept the sweltering heat of the day and sun a bit more manageable.
Outside of the winds it was a day of constant small but steep hills. I decided to it quits about 55km in when I had made it to Tolaga bay. The east cape is full of “freedom camp” sites, including one here, but they have a strange definition of this as you must pay some money for a permit and follow the list of rules. The only rule that really didn't work for me was that you must carry a chemical toilet. I chose to ignore this rule and pitched tent by the beach near a public toilet.
Some of the camp sites there were semipermanent structures that families have been using for years. Next to me was a Maori family with a giant festival tent type thing and inside they had everything, including the kitchen sink. Spent a while talking to Rob, who now lives in Thailand. It's interesting to hear the opinion people abroad have of the states.
No shower here but splashing around in the sea made me smell a little better. I love this place!