One of the random I thoughts and doubts I had ahead of walking the length of New Zealand was…Continue reading
What book editing has to do with life
I’ve started the editing process of the first draft of my book detailing my experience of walking the Te Araroa Trail down the length of New Zealand.
I had been dreading it.Continue reading
Self-doubt doesn’t have to hold you back
“If only I didn’t doubt myself then I’d be able to walk the length of New Zealand.”
That’s what I told myself over and over again when I was “trying to find” the courage to take on the adventure.
I thought my self-doubt was holding me back, stopping me in my tracks, and pointing to a belief that I just wasn’t good enough.
I finally got to the point where this thinking was driving me crazy and somewhere inside me wanted to prove it was all wrong. I’d put off doing the walk for three years, too consumed with self-doubt.
Enough was enough!
But my self-doubt didn’t vanish.Continue reading
We are all brave
I don’t consider myself especially brave.
Yet I’ve been called that a lot recently.
It all started with my solo trek down the length of New Zealand.
But I definitely didn’t feel brave when I stood at the northern tip of New Zealand about take the first step.
In fact, I was a total bundle of nerves and riddled with self-doubt and fear. I’d never done anything like this before. Who was I to think I could walk 3,000km (1,864 miles)?Continue reading
Volcano number 23: The private volcano
April 2020 was spent in a yellow motel room in the small tourist town Te Anau in New Zealand. That first Covid lockdown put paid to my #WalkNZ adventure – just seven days from the finish line in Bluff.
Once things opened up in New Zealand, and the rest of the world was still on pause, my partner Mark and I did a tiki tour of the North Island.
And I climbed volcano number 23 in my #40by40 challenge.
Mt Tarawera.Continue reading
Days 66-70 of #WalkNZ part 2 – The Motatapu Track
Lightening strips of pain burned up the back of my legs.
My lungs were in meltdown trying to support my muscles that sucked up the scant oxygen in my blood, while my heart seemed to be in its death throes as it attempted to keep up with the relentless uphill movement of my legs as I inched slowly closer to yet another mountain saddle.
Five mountains over 1000m high in three days. Classic Te Araroa.
And oh man, it hurt.
To say I underestimated the Motatapu Track is an understatement. Continue reading
Days 57-63 of #WalkNZ part 2 – Ahuriri River and the Breast Hill Track
Sometimes the Te Araroa throws everything at you.
Hot, cold, sun, rain, uphill, downhill, stunning views, monotonous boredom, walking like a machine, hobbling and in pain. Wet underpants.
That was this section.
Seven days. Demanding. Challenging.
Totally worth it.
But it didn’t start well.
Days 45-55 of #WalkNZ part 2 – The Clent Hills, Two Thumbs Range & Te Araroa’s highest point
I have now walked just more than half of the South Island of New Zealand on part 2 of #WalkNZ.
More than 650km.
That explains why the tread on my shoes is looking a little bald and why I’m now slightly obsessed with food.
The past 10 days have provided some of the best highlights of the trail – wild West country and the greatest sense of remoteness so far, super wild camping spots, the highest point on the Te Araroa trail, a stunning ridgeline walk with views to New Zealand’s tallest mountain Mt Cook, and a 55km bike ride. Continue reading
Days 38-43 of #WalkNZ part 2 – The Deception Track and the boyfriend’s rude introduction to Te Araroa
“So, what did you make of your first six days on the Te Araroa Trail?” I asked my boyfriend, who had newly flown in from the UK and was still suffering the after effects of jetlag.
“Well, it’s not so much a trail, rather a route,” he mused.
“The terrain is much wilder than I anticipated and the landscapes are vast. It feels like there’s a sense of being the first people to walk here because the path is non-existent, the route marking is quite frankly at times invisible. It doesn’t feel like you’re on a well-defined trail that thousands of people have walked. This feels more remote. There is an enormous sense of space.”
He added: “Walking uphill and down hill isn’t the most demanding bit. It’s the bit where you have to plan ahead for the river crossings because of the weather, and even some of the shallower river crossings can still be dangerous. The road walking, with its hard surface, is draining and monotonous – it’s more a mental challenge than a physical challenge. On occasion you have to do a long day to move ahead of a weather system or to find water. Progress can be slow like when you’re boulder hopping, it requires a lot of balance, concentration and endurance. But I’m loving it. Except for those flippin sandflies.”
He scratched the hundreds of red spots dotting his calves where the blood-thirsty critters had taken a liking to him.
Yes it had been something of a rude introduction to the Te Araroa Trail.
Within a six-day time frame we’d condensed the main aspects of what the trail was all about – uphill, down hill, mountains, forests, the good, the bad and the ugly. Continue reading
Days 26-29 of #WalkNZ part 2 – River Crossings
I’m currently sitting in a warm and cosy backpackers in the tiny alpine village of Arthur’s Pass.
Outside the wind is howling, angrily shaking trees and threatening to tear the roof off the backpackers while thick sheets of rain move down the road in waves.
Some 75mm of rain is forecast here today with wind gusts up to 100km per hour.
Further south and to the west, almost 500mm of rain has fallen, there are landslips, roads have been closed, rivers totally flooded, walkers evacuated from other trails. Continue reading