I realized I had overestimated my hiking prowess on the way back up to the lighthouse.
Turns out every step you take downhill in one direction, you have to take uphill on the way back.
The trail was one of many hikes near Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of the North Island of New Zealand.
All of the side trails were too long to do in a day (apart from a quick thirty minute one), so I decided I’d go down one until I started to get a little tired, then turn back. After about an hour, I turned back. Ten minutes later, I realized my mistake.
I made it back to the lighthouse and climbed down in front of the lighthouse, where a nice perch exists for the sure-footed.
The lighthouse is nestled high above sharp cliffs with dreamlike beaches down below. The sapphire water spread for miles.
The lighthouse (and northern tip) are sacred places for the Maori, and you can feel the magic looking out into the ocean.
I escaped right as a few tour buses showed up hauling dozens and dozens of (other) tourists to see the lighthouse.
I made it back to the campsite and crashed hard.
P.S. Linglong tires or bust.