A NEW COUNTDOWN
Well we are on the plane on the way to Japan looking forward to our next adventure. for any of you that don't know our next walking adventure is in Japan it is an ild Buddhist walk called the 88 Temples.
NZ DAY 180
And so, as our adventure in New Zealand draws to an end I thought I would write my first post for the season. Once again, like all new ventures there are lessons that have been learnt, experiences gained, fears conquered and new friends made.
Our intention was always to complete the 3000k tramp, that is, Te Araroa, but due to injury, a realisation of what is important for us and a need to preserve ourselves for longevity, we came off trail and experienced New Zealand in a far different light. We are satisfied and happy with our decision and it sets a platform for how we plan our future walks.
I was recently asked what is the one outstanding experience that I have had since arriving. Undoubtedly, it has been the people. You can take as many photos of mountain ranges, waterfalls, snow capped mountains etc, as you like, but it will be the experiences, the laughter, the stories and the characters that I will remember most.
With that being said, thank you......
To the people who opened their homes for us:
Tom and Petra Dawson who opened their house to three strangers when we first arrived in Auckland. Tanya, Tim and I were like kids in a candy shop, with what seemed like brand new gear on our backs ready to tackle this monumental journey. Tom and Petra are a couple that simply made us feel relaxed and comfortable with their warm hospitality and enthusiasm for what we were doing. Tom and Petra also provided a warm welcome to Tanya and I when we passed through Auckland and upon our return to Auckland on route to Japan.
Nicola Martin and Ken, who welcomed us into her beautiful home in Wellington three times and stored the excessive amount of gear that we need to carry around the world. Nicola, you a true Trail Angel, and we will be forever grateful for all your support, love, care and friendship.
A special mention for Fiona and Julian in Wellington. We stayed in their Air BnB between Xmas and New Year, and returned as friends again as we passed back through Wellington. Thank you for your kind friendship, and we will see you in Europe with your hiking boots on.
To the special people we like to think of as our ‘clan’, a tribe of people that are unique in their own right but have a common thread of...... a desire to ‘Experience Life’.
Tim, we spent so many months talking a planning this trip. We had concerns, fears, expectations and a drive to ‘just get here’. Congratulations, for finishing Tanya and I are both proud and happy for you.
To the other two that made up our travelling caravan, Hanna and Georgia, there wasn’t a day that you didn’t make us laugh. We will be forever in your’s and Tim’s debt for removing all the emotion from our packs and saving us 4 kilos of stuff we simply did not miss. A big congrats also to ‘Billy Goat’, Georgia who completed the TA. Watch out season 18/19 Hannah is coming back! We wish you the best of luck.
We crossed paths with so many people, each with their own stories, Mr and Mrs Chris and K-Marie Lees, Fiona, Debbie and Jenny, Emilie and Maria, Yvonne and Geoff Lamberton, Lyn and Gary Barnett, Lisa Vanden Berg and Tony, Jackie and Peter, Trisha and Neil, Jenny and Clea, the #SilverHikers, Stephanie and Heiner, Mike Robertson, Sibylle and Sven, Laure and Antoine and the Picton Crew that made Waitangi Day memorable and all the other hikers we briefly met along the way.
We also started our Workaway program and were so fortunate to be able share our story with not only our hosts but also fellow Workaways. Not only have we learnt new skills, we also learnt so much more about New Zealand’s’ history and culture from our truly amazing hosts: Jane and Kelly from The Flying Fox in Whanganui, Bruce and Judy in Nelson and the larger than life Dean from The Dudley Arms in Mangatainoka.
Being away from home was always going to have ‘those days’ and the support we have had from our families: Jenny and Ally, Samantha and Andy, Matthew and Jordan and extended families, thank you so much. Whilst we feel privileged to be able to live our lives this way, your calls, messages of support and love are really so important to us, thank you.
We also need to thank YOU. Our friends and followers, who read our (Tanya’s) posts, comment on our photos, send messages of support and encouragement, who have donated to our charity Smiling Mind and who have very kindly donated hamburger (Donna, Ann, Bernadette,Eva and Melissa) to us after several weeks of ‘gulag’. We really hope you enjoy what we post and welcome any feedback to improve our site.
Last but not least; my companion, my lover, my soulmate, my bestie. Tanya, you are such a strong woman and you overcame so many obstacles and fears on this journey. I may not say it enough but I admire you and love you very much. The short video (see below) is a snapshot of the selfies we started taking when we setoff in Oct 17. We have changed!
So it’s onto Japan and the 88 Temples on the island of Shikoku. A pilgrimage that offers challengers far beyond the physical experienced here in New Zealand. It’s time to look inside!
Stay Safe, Live Large, Be Brave, Have Fun.
All our love
David and Tanya
The Global Hobos
NZ DAY 149 - 170
WORKAWAY: Mangatainoka 1 -21st April
We have spent the last 3 weeks at the Dudley Arms doing a workaday Workaway is a organisation that matches "hosts" and "volunteers" who are looking for help in a huge range of different fields. From painting to planting, building to babysitting and shopping to shearing, It enables you to experience a country in a very personal manner by becoming involved in, and helping execute host's passion and labour's of love. For us it also allows us to stretch our budget by exchanging a few hours of honest help per day in exchange for food and accommodation. It also allows us a opportunity to learn about the local lifestyle and community, with friendly hosts in varying situations and surroundings.
Our Workaway at Mangatainoka has allow us contribute to Dean's (the host) vision of restoring The Dudley Arms to its former glory. It has been different to our 2 previous workaday because we have shared our time with other workaways which has been fun and very enjoyable, Add to the motley crew of workdays our host Dean and his cheeky dog Milo the time was certainly memorable.
Having now completed three workdays I am full of gratitude to our hosts Kelly & Jane The Flying Fox, Judy & Bruce @ Nelson and Dean @ The Dudley Arms who have been generous with both their knowledge and with opening up their homes.
NZ DAY 138
Yesterday signified the end of our walking in New Zealand, we still have a month left before we fly out to Japan but our walking has finished. I wasn't going to do a list of my most favourite or best things but I really want to acknowledge the things I thought were the best
THE BEST OF THE BEST
Best Food: Wood fired Pizza at Paekariki Beach Road Deli, honourable mention to The Indian Cafe in Nelson
Best Caravan Park: Takaka Camping and Cabins, great bathrooms and Camp kitchen
Best Bar: The Free House at Picton followed closely by The Roosts Bar at Takaka
Best Backpackers: Tombstones at Picton
Best TA Walkers Camp: Toss up between Nikau Eco Camp (www.tutukakacamping.co.nz) & Remember When(facebook.com/judy.neill.75)
Best Experience: Has to be the flight over Milford, honourable mention bungy jumping at Queenstown
Best Track: Hollyford Track I loved it
Best Camp Spot: Top of the Raetea Forrest, even totally exhausted I could see the magic and beauty. David's choice was Bark Bay on the Able Tasman Track
Best Comment: "Mum says if ya want burgers, get in NOW". (see 12.11.17 for explanation)
We chose NZ because we thought it was an easy option to learn the craft of long distance walking ......it has given us so much more. We have been pushed to our limits physically and emotionally. We have been delighted and overwhelmed with peoples generosity. We have been in awe of how beautiful the country is.
NZ you have set the bar high and we will not forget you.
Thank you one and all.
NZ DAY 135
HEAPHY TRACK: Heaphy Hut to Kohaihai 17km (total Kms walked 1454)
We finished the Heaphy Trail today both of us exhausted. Not so much because of todays walk but from an accumulation of 15 days continuous walking roughly 200kms. That on top of the 32km day yesterday has really depleted the energy tanks. So really looking forward to our day of in Nelson tomorrow.
LOW LIGHT: Absolutely no view for most of the walk
Grateful for the end of the trail. Not because it's the end of walking but for what it signifies.....completion, success, our planning all went well. Today I am grateful for you my friend, Im grateful for you visiting my blog . I am grateful that by you reading, commenting and sharing this blog gives me the discipline to think about this AMAZING journey and write about it. This is important for my present happiness because it stops me taking it for granted and its important for my future happiness because I can look back and see how far I have come. So I am grateful for you more than I can say and more than you will ever know.Lastly I am grateful for nightly treaties. Most nights after dinner we have a treatise tonights treaties was cranberry and pistachio choccie.
NZ DAY 134
HEAPHY TRACK: Saxon Hut to Heaphy Hut 32KM (Total KM's walked 1437)
Today we were up and on the track early because we had set ourselves 32km to walk today. Lot's of river crossings today but all with bridges so it was a simple downhill walk. Camp tonight is very pretty grassy knoll overlooking Heaphy Beach. Lots of cheeky Wekas trying to steal all out bits and pieces. The sandflies where so bad tonight that when we got into our tent to sleep we thought it was raining......the noise was coming from hundreds of sandflies hitting the tent. Thank god we have a inner fly. So proud of myself today it was a long walk.
HIGHLIGHT: Coming into camp and seeing the beach
LOWLIGHT: Not being able to enjoy this beautiful place because of the sandflies
Grateful the Night for 2 reasons the amazing night sky and secondly without the dark we would never have the lights. Life mirrors natures so often think how boring life would be if it was always perfect. We have to have dark times to appreciate the good. I love like the soothing nature of night. It relaxes and unwinds. It quietly closes one day and prepares us for the next.
NZ DAY 133
HEAPHY TRAIL : Aorere to Saxon Hut 18KM (total KM's walked 1405)
Today the universe made sure we knew that she was in control. It was wet, windy and old. Unfortunately the climb up to the saddle was in vain we could see nothing. Arrived in camp to find that the camp spot had raised platforms for sites no flat ground, so we had a bit of a challenge rigging up the tent. The Spunky Rooster worked out what to do...it wasn't pretty but it worked.
HIGHLIGHT: Sadly no highlight today
LOWLIGHT: The bloody wind, it was cold, cold, cold
Grateful for solitude, I believe we all need to embrace aloneness as it is good for the soul. Today I am grateful for toilet paper in toilet. We have come close to running out and the alternative is not a nice thought. I am grateful for my gorgeous pillow it makes sleeping a dream.
NZ DAY 132
HEAPHY TRACK : Takaka to Aorere Shleter 15KM (Total KM's walked 1387)
Wow with the quick turnaround from Abel Tasman to the Heaphy track my legs are definitely walk ready but today my heart just isn't in it. The track is very well maintain pathway so it is an easy walk even though we climbed 900m it was slow incline over 15km. We finished the day at a shelter perch on the side of the hill with lovely views down into the valley.
HIGHLIGHT: None today a pretty average day
LOWLIGHT: the rain , it didn't start until we were in camp but hasn't stopped since we made camp.
Grateful for the ability to cook reasonably nice meals even on trail. Second chances. Forgiveness. The ability to say: thank you for that experience. Today I am really grateful for being a woman, I like the way The Spunky Rooster makes me feel precious.