Again my legs will be chasing my mind and my dreams; following a winding path that heads along beaches, through dense forests, over high mountain passes, through rivers and valleys, mud and marshes.
Again I will wake up, pack up, walk, make camp, eat, sleep then do it all again for about 3 months. My life will become simple.
In a few days I will be heading to Bluff, at the very bottom of New Zealand to start walking the South Island part of Te Araroa. I will be heading North so I will be a NOBO this time and walking only 1,300km. https://www.teararoa.org.nz/
Two years ago I walked Te Araroa 3,000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff south bound (SOBO) so the idea of long thru hike is not new to me.
I have spent the last couple of years in lockdowns, doing some short term Accounting contracts and spending lots of time with my latest lot grandchildren, Indie – 3yrs and Finnley, who is just 14 months old. I will miss them very much as the time I have been able to spend with them has been precious. I hope they don’t forget their Granny!
However the trail will be different this time. Most of the time the sun will be in my face, rather than at my back, I will struggle up the tracks that were easy downhills last time and I may spend more time on my own as most people walk SOBO. I think this will be the biggest challenge for me. Last time I had a sense of security knowing there were other walkers ahead and behind me most days. But Covid has changed the way people do Te Araora so I may be surprised.
Kay, a lady who walked most of Te Araroa last season, is planning on joining me from Queenstown for 2 or 3 weeks as she missed that section. Also my daughter, Cara, is coming to walk with me from Nelson to Havelock in March. And my friend Jan may pop in somewhere for a bit as well.
- This time my aspirations are:
- to lose all the weight I put on since finishing TA last time
- not have to use my PLB to call a helicopter to rescue me
- meet interesting people
- and not get lost.
I have given Garry orders to buy the Weather Gods a few more drinks to ensure I get good weather like he organised for me last time.
So for those of you who can’t or won’t ever do a long walk like this you are very welcome to come along for the ride virtually. I will only post once a week or so and hopefully I can brighten your morning tea break! Last Te Araroa I found that knowing you were all out there waiting for my next update sometimes was the thing that kept me going on a hard day. So keep up the comments and encouragement as this old Granny sure needs it!
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