Welcome to my Damn Long Walk
This website is designed to keep in contact with my friends and family while I am off wandering. It is also my way of keeping a record of my adventures and to find myself in case I get lost. Do not expect it to be a definite work on any track or trail, or to have the best spelling, grammar and formatting. I am trying to get away from technology as much as possible!!!
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Why walk so far?
Years of working in a stressful career and siting in an office in front of a computer means I need a change every now and then. Walking is easy as I have been doing it since I was a year old so walking for a long time can’t be that hard. Just one step after another. I have found that it is definitely not about the destination. The journey is what excites me but the people I meet on the way are the most important aspect for me.
A bit about me.
I am a New Zealander and the mother of 5 amazing people who I am very proud of. I am also blessed with 5 lovely grand daughters and a grand son. I am an Accountant and have been an active Tramper (New Zealand’s name for a hiker, trail walker, backpacker etc.) for many years now. In conjunction with the New Plymouth Tramping Club I ran a Take A Kid Tramping programme for about 7 years. For this I received a nomination for the New Zealander of The Year and learnt a lot about organising and planning tramps. I hope I have inspired many kids to get out and enjoy the outdoors and maybe one day do the TA. Article about me and Take a Kid Tramping
After successfully launching 5 kids out of the nest I went off for a mid life treat putting a pack on my back and spent 2005 to 2007 traveling the world. I learnt to be comfortable living with my home on my back and being in new situations.
My first damn long walk was the Camino de Santiago back in 2007 – about 800 km in 30 days. About 300,00 people walk this 2,000 year old trail every year across a mostly flat Spain. That was “a walk in the park” compared to my damn long walk in 2019-2020.
Damn Long Walk #2
From October 2019 to March 2020 I walked Te Araora. This is New Zealand’s long pathway. It is 3,000 km down the length of New Zealand over mountains, through mud, thick forests, rivers, valleys farmland, beaches and everything in between.
I have also enjoyed cycle touring in the past.
My Favourite Books
What do I take with me?
The answer is quite simple. As little as possible! Because I have to carry it on my back for the whole damn long walks I have been researching this question for months now on the internet. Google makes it all fairly easy to come up with what is best to get. I reckon that I spent at least a dollar fir each gram I have saved. See my gear list for Te Araroa SOBO 2019-2020 here
Being safe and prepared for all eventualities has to be the priority. I have been personally involved in six Search and Rescue events and have always been praised for been fully equipped and doing things correctly . One of my rescues