Kerikeri boasts a "New World" supermarket. 24 hours after leaving Camp Paradise, I wandered its neon-lit aisles in a daze, my senses bombarded by distraction, with my rucksack dominating most of a shopping trolley. The shelves were stocked with choice and yet offered so little of what I really wanted.
The transition from the Omahuta Forest to town had been too sudden. Footsore and weary by the end of the day, I had given way and hitched a lift for the last leg into town.
In the end, I bought a bottle of wine, some cheese and a couple of rolls, although I felt neither thirsty nor hungry for either. Ditto with the pizza I ordered on a whim and carried into the park to eat.
"Tasteless rubbish," I thought and tossed half of it to the waiting, beady-eyed seagulls and sparrows.
I decanted the bottle of wine into an empty water bottle, disposed of my accumulated rubbish in a bin and thought about my options for the night's rest. In nature, it's easy to find a campsite but more difficult in town.
A plantation of trees caught my eye. I wandered between neat suburban houses towards it. A path opened up at the end of the street and I followed it until the houses were out of sight and earshot. Swiftly, in the gathering dark and beset by a sudden cloud of mosquitoes, I set up my hammock, donned my "onesie" and sat, swigging wine.
It didn't make me happy. It just made me more morose so I stopped and swung into the hammock. Suspended in the green cocoon, I also felt suspended between two worlds, in limbo between the ancient timeless world of nature and the modern, new world of comfort.
One is simple and uncluttered. The other is complicated and confusing.
On the trail, I had looked forward to the new world but now that I am here, I want the old one.
Tomorrow, Rosa will arrive for a day or two or longer.
Nothing can be simpler than love but how tangled the terrain can be.
I hope the decision to walk this trail will open up a new world for our marriage. Instinct, intuition or a gut feeling tells me it will but still there is little voice of doubt, whining in my brain like those mosquitoes outside the hammock.