The South Island of #WalkNZ begins: Introducing the Richmond Ranges

20190301_122929I’m alive!

I can’t quite believe it but I survived eight days in the remote New Zealand wilderness walking up and down a lot of steep, tall mountains through the Richmond Ranges.

This was classed as scary shit – the Richmond Ranges are dubbed the toughest section in the South Island on the Te Araroa trail.

Naturally, I was totally freaking out about them. Continue reading

Reflections on the North Island section of the Te Araroa Trail

20190213_130810-1Almost four months ago, I stood at the northern tip of the North Island of New Zealand.

The new pack on my back weighed just over 17kg. I carried five days worth of food and two litres of water; though anyone looking at me would have thought I was carrying the kitchen sink.

I stared at the point where the two oceans (the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean) met. Waves churned. According to Maori legend, the whirlpools where the currents collide represents the creation of life.

I thought that was apt.

Here I was about to start a 3,000km journey walking the Te Araroa trail down the length of New Zealand. Anything could happen; people told me it would be life changing.

Last week, part one of the #WalkNZ journey was completed – I reached the bottom of the North Island. 101 days. 1,688km walked. Continue reading

Days 7-12 of #WalkNZ: Raetea Forest – the forest from hell

20181113_1445351If someone offered me £1 million there is no way in hell I would walk through Raetea Forest again.

Those were the words I uttered as I stumbled into the makeshift campsite after spending 12 hours wading through knee-high mud through a forest that was more like a jungle.

Raetea Forest – it’s aim is to desoul you. It turns you wild. Continue reading

Day 1-5 of #WalkNZ: A long walk along a beach

20181106_143557If I had a tinder profile it would no longer say – “Katrina Megget, likes long walks on the beach”.

Five days, 101kms of long endless beach where the sand is the same, the sand dunes are the same and the ocean is the same will do that to you.

And so marked the first five days of #WalkNZ – my epic 3,000km journey along the Te Araroa trail down the length of New Zealand as I raise awareness of self-doubt and low self-esteem and raise money for mental health. Continue reading

Why I’m fundraising for mental health

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Three years ago, I attempted to climb Snowdon, England and Wales highest mountain, for the first time.

I was unprepared for the experience, supremely unfit, and attempted to climb the mountain during appalling weather conditions with visibility limited to 10 metres.

The outstanding memory of the experience wasn’t the view (well there wasn’t one because of the cloud), and it wasn’t of getting to the summit. It wasn’t even the thrill and pride of conquering England and Wales highest mountain.

The outstanding memory of the experience was sitting on a large rock halfway up the mountain having a complete and utter meltdown. Continue reading

How much training is enough?

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3,000km. Five to six months. Mountains, forests, knee-high mud, wet river crossings, kayaking, road walking. The legendary Te Araroa trail down the length of New Zealand. How much training is enough?

I put my hands up – I think I’m not doing enough. At least when I was walking up Box Hill last weekend with a 9.5kg backpack on my back it certainly felt like I hadn’t been doing enough.

Annoying, when back in March I’d put together a comprehensive four-month training programme for this adventure. But life gets in the way. I haven’t stuck to it. Actually, I haven’t even come close. Continue reading

Facing my fear of kayaking – and not letting it hold me back from achieving my dreams

I’ve always been a little trepidatious when it came to kayaking.

Ever since high school when kayaking in the school swimming pool was a component of PE. Physical education, for a geeky teenager who could barely throw a ball to save herself, wasn’t great at the best of times, but the kayaking class was something else.

There I was sat in a kayak, locked in by the spray deck that covered me from the waist down, learning how to capsize and roll the kayak back up.

It didn’t go very well. Continue reading