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