Day 61-66 Christmas break. 6 days in Palmerston North.

I had a relaxing 6 days off for Christmas staying with my daughter, Cara. It was so good to be back with them and catch up on the news. My youngest grand daughter, Indie, is 13 months old and we were delighted to have a little kiddie opening Christmas presents again.

We also had 2 T.A. walkers, Roman from Switzerland and Gabrielle the lazy German to stay with us. So they were treated to a summer Kiwi Christmas with mini stock car rides around the track in Daniel’s yard, backyayrd cricket and bullrush and kiwi christmas food and games. Very different to their usual Christmas.

The days went quickly and, unfortunately I didn’t have time to catch up with as many people as I had wanted to.

Roman is a very fast hiker and he does much longer days than I do. Roman took up the 100km challenge, walking from Wanganui to Palmerston North in one go; 20 hours. I was planning on doing the same but when I got off the river I just wanted to go home. So now my plan is to continue to Bluff, the bottom if the South Island

, then return to Wanganui. I will then walk to Palmerston North. Thus ending at home.

Roman has done quite a few ultra long hikes around the world and carries a very light pack. He also manages to survive on cigarettes, beer, weed, and one meal a day of noodles or pasta. This is not the usual diet prescribed for a long hike but it seems to work for him. Maybe I need to follow suit?

The Lazy German keeps up with Roman by hitch hiking most of time. They seemed to enjoy a NZ christmas and meeting my family and their pets.

Roman went through my pack with me and we managed to remove about 2kg of stuff. It was a combination of alot of little things that were discarded.

My pocket knife weighed 160 gms and I only used it to cut my salami and cheese so it was swapped out for a small plastic kitchen knife that weighed only 50 gms after Daniel had cut off some of the handle and drilled holes in what remained. My toothbrush also lost some of it’s handle. My fleece top went as I have a down jacket to keep me warm at camp. I had not used my Cuban Fibre rain skirt so it was cut up to make one very light bag to replace the 2 kitchen bags I had been using, and stuff sacks for my sleeping bag and tent. This saved me quite a few grams too. My cup went as I can drink out of my pot. I had a wee sewing kit that was reduced to one needle and some cotton and my first aid stuff was halved.

Handke shortened and holes drilled to save weight

The one thing I didn’t give up was my Teva sandals even though I could have saved another 400gms. That was going too far!

So I was ready to go again lighter than ever. Pack and body.