If you have made it this deep into my blog you will realise I am walking Te Araroa, New Zealand’s long path, as a thru walker. Having created the window of opportunity, something i don’t think happens very often in our modern lives, I needed an adventure to define the next phase in life.
I first came across the concept of Te Araroa in 1995, from a Swiss woman Wendy who had just completed a challenging adventure route the length of New Zealand. I guess the seed was planted. From time to time, through the media the idea resurfaced, but the fantasy of taking 6+ months out to plan and complete the journey was beyond reason.
In January 2015 while walking the St James walkway I had a brief encounter with a European thru hiker who came flying out of the Waiau Valley, said hello and soon disappeared into the distance. This sparked a conversation about section walking the trail. Planning the journey I now realise I have brushed shoulders with more sections of the trail than I had thought, my adventure spirit leans towards a single through journey so the idea of section walking never took hold. Possibly the reason why i have evolved from my initial idea of taking on all the great walks in a season. The memory that stands out from this encounter was his high level of fitness (he flew past) and the minimal gear he was carrying, less than I take on an overnight walk. A concept that even a few months out I am struggling with.
Having spent a life experiencing New Zealand’s wilderness spaces through tramping, whitewater kayaking, climbing and introducing others to adventure experiences the idea of completing the journey is not so foreign. A window of time, a needed escape from the daily grind, a burning desire for new adventure, recent events and media articles have contributed to that 24 year old seed sprouting. Through this blog watch my adventure grow and blossom as I experience the land, communities and people at walking pace. Broadening my understanding of what living in Aotearoa is all about.