Wednesday, November 16, 2011

South Island - mountains and rivers lay before me.

My first look at the SI for almost 3 months, as the Cook Strait ferry enters Tory channel. Most of my journey from now on will be in the mountains, so it could be a while before I post on this blog again. But watch this space.

Completed the North Island section of the Te Araroa trail

Wet morning at the Cable Car
Te Araroa sign at Island Bay
On a rainy Wellington afternoon and after 87 days, I have completed the NI section of Te Araroa trail. Great to reach this milestone and the satisfaction that I'm now half way through my 3,000 km journey down the length of New Zealand.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's full on tramping - as we tackle the Tararua's

 I'd heard a lot about tramping in the Tararua's, some of it good, but some of it scary. But after endless days of road walking, I was looking forward to the challenge of some "real tramping". My daughter Rebecca has joined me on this section, so it's good to have her company and to share the experience.

Early morning start on day one
The weather improves on day two

Checking out the next ridge - plenty of choices
 Tramping in the Tararua's is certainly hard work, but the scenery is rewarding. The tracks are steep, both up and down, the huts are a reasonable distance apart, but it is the weather that is your greatest enemy. On fine days it is challenging, yet satisfying, but on cold, wet days, life in the Tararua's is just dan right miserable. We had a mixed bunch, 50/50 wet and fine, so we enjoyed the good days, and longed to be somewhere else on the other days. But the huts were good, especially Nichol's Hut, with it's great little pot-bellied stove. So, all in all, a great tramping experience. I'll be back.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Road walking to Levin.

Walking SH57 just north of Shannon
Some friends join me for my roadside lunch
"Back on the road again", as the song goes, but not far to go now. So with a pack full of new supplies and after plenty of road walking from Whanganui (via Bulls, Feilding and Palmerston North), although I must say, mainly on lovely backcountry roads, I have now reached Levin. While in Palmerston North, I stayed with some alpaca friends, Lars and Heather Olsen, and it was great to sleep in a real bed and live in a real house after weeks of camping. So thanks for break and the chance to feel almost normal again.
I am now waiting in Levin for my daughter, Rebecca, to join me for the tramp through the Tararua Ranges. It's lovely to have family members join me on some of the sections of the Te Araroa trail, it makes it really special and adds to the whole experience. The weather has been a bit dodgy lately, so fingers crossed for the Taraua's.
Wellington here we come!!!!!