Two months and two weeks - the countdown has well and truly started! I'm still sitting at my Gran's kitchen table, sweating a little - partly from the heat of the rainy season summer, and partly from the wonder of how and why I'm embarking on such a quest as to walk the length of the country. There is no gold filled dragon's lair in Bluff after all.. or is there...?
My passport arrived: the online passport service is amazing, they had my passport ready in two days - normal service, go NZ! But DHL let down the team by making me stress another ten days before getting into my hot little hands. Anyway, it's here and my lesson is learned: don't check expiry of passport ON THE PLANE.
Since my first post, quite a few friends have expressed an interest - in either joining me on parts of the trail - or cheering me on from a distance :D Thanks for your kind words and interest! I will endeavour to make this a trip worth writing home about!
I've decided on a camera - Hurrah! The choice was pretty massive - there was quite a choice out there, you have the type (DSLR, Mirrorless, good point and shoot), you have make, model, budget and of course what you're going to mainly shoot. And THEN you have the choice of lenses!! I've gone the mirrorless path - quite ironic really.. in a kind of clueless goes with mirrorless? kind of way... and my baby, once I get it will be a Fujifilm XT-1. DutyFree was left in the dust after remembering I had a contact at Fujifilm NZ. Boom!
So that was the easy part! Haha! - Be able to make it back to NZ, and to figure out how to record what my eyes will see on this journey.
I'm still working on a schedule - How do I get down to Wellington on foot from Cape Reinga in October to Wellington by December 23rd (when my friends start the Queen Charlotte) while trying to maintain my business back in Auckland and all the other stuff?! Um. I need to get back to you on that one. At any rate I've shifted my start date forward and my departure is now September 4th. My birthday - 36 years crazy.
I figure this will be quite a ride in the next few years - the future is looming large and isn't so distant anymore... haha! In essence that is what this trip is about for me: Taking this time while I can, really being in the moment and learning my own pace...
I've joined a couple of groups on Facebook - Te Araroa and a group for this year's walkers. Loads of questions and answers flying around. I have the benefit of coming back to a base, <section walking> and as a kiwi, I won't be battling with the language barrier or cultural differences like most others who seem to be international visitors.
Got a few more bits of gear to get - namely a PLB or Personal Locator Beacon - there are a few models with GPS attached which would be handy - and a whole lot more planning. Wish me luck!
I've had a fire in my belly to embark on a crazy adventure for a while now- and I've decided that Te Araroa is it. I'll be hiking the bulk of it, running some no doubt, and recording it here. This is going to be a trial by this same fire - I can't call myself a writer, photographer, trail runner OR a seasoned hiker by any means, but I can tell you we are in for quite a journey. I'm writing this from my Gran's house in Japan, having found out on the plane here that I had three days left on my passport. Yes, that is the type of seat-of-the-pants traveller.. ok.. person I am. Some parts of this blog may read like an episode of Fawlty Towers, but hopefully it will also contain some humorous tales, some triumph, some trials overcome and some learnings too. Help me know I'm not alone - that you're out there through your comments.
I'm going to be turning 36 this year - I feel like I've been dormant for too long now and it's time I got off the couch and got some real outdoors action started. I've bought the official guide book, downloaded the maps and have started on a gear list. There are post offices I can send fresh gear and supplies to - Just like that chick in Wild! Now I have to get myself a camera, teach myself the basics of SLR, how to read the weather maps and deciphering the clouds - among many many other things...! <Googles how to write a blog>
October 2016, I'll pack my pack, lace up the boots and hit the trail at Cape Reinga. Anyone wanting to join me for parts of it are welcome, otherwise come with me through this blog - it may make you glad you're still on the couch! But it may also make you see New Zealand the way I hope to see it, like a huge and beautiful playground.
Bring it on, Kooooooowweeeeeeeee! :D