2011-2012 has been an emotional 12 months for us

We became kiwi citizens. Our kids, Ben and Beth survived the Christchurch earthquakes. I lost my mum and brother, Brian, to cancer in the same week. We sold our outdoor activity business in Hanmer Springs that we had run for ten years. We ran the Forest Camp as managers and we will celebrate 30 years of marriage.

It has been a time of intense emotions and hard work but a great network of friends and family has supported us.

Losing Brian at the age of 60 has convinced me that we have to “live life for today”. With that in mind Steve and I have decided that the best way to celebrate surviving, being kiwis and the “life of Brian” is to walk the length of New Zealand. Now here is the irony, Brian would be convinced that we are finally, totally and unreservedly barking mad!

Thanks to Ben and Beth for their support to let us go, to Sharon and Serge our Hanmer backstops and to Shalane for inspiration.

Follow us on our journey – meet us on the way with tea and scones, walk a section with us, join us for a beer or just support our cause and donate to Cancer research!

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Thursday, 27 September 2012

It can certainly rain in Northland! The poor farmers are having a tough time with the wet pastures and all the mud. We have been hauled up in Kerikeri with Sally and Peter Burgoyne, who have been so generous to help us with drop offs, pickups and accommodation as a contra deal to support Cancer Research. Many thanks guys, we feel we have know you for years !!
After a couple of treatments at the Physio my sore shin has recovered well. Not sure that I should actually thank Daniel as the treatment was so painful. But Andrew Oh, may donate more money now that I have had trigger point dry needle therapy and lived through the ordeal !!
Thanks to everyone for your emails and encouragement, I am sure you chuckle each time you see it is raining, but next week is a good forecast as we walk down the coast towards Whangarei.
We are thrilled that we will have Sally to join us tomorrow, our first drop in walker as we head to Waitangi.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

We have made it to Puketi, near Kerikeri, having crossed Northland through the Herikino, Raetea and Puketi forests. Thanks to Sally and Peter for the pickup and hospitality.
What an adventure!! The walking was very challenging through the first two forests, the tracks were gnarly and muddy and it was literally one step at a time ! The best part was crawling through the giant flax bushes on the summit ridge of Raetea. 
Many thanks to Gill Minogue and Roger Gale for their help and support on this difficult section - offering a great shuttle service, unique accommodation on their amazing 100 acre native forest block and expert local knowledge of the forest and tracks. We will hold fond memories of our time in Waimihia.
We felt it was wise to walk the wet weather track for the Puketi section due to the state of the tracks and the weather. This track is along forest logging roads high up and along the ridge with stunning views of the forest and coast - it was a worthwhile alternative, we camped on the ridge and enjoyed being able to stride out !
Having a couple of days in Kerikeri to rest and repair - looking forward to the next coastal section.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

We started the Te Araroa Trail from Cape Reinga on September 9th, Lynne's Mums birthday. It was a beautiful sunny day after a week of bad weather. Thanks to Mark at Marty's Adventures for the lift to the lighthouse. If the car could make it to the Cape we were sure we could make it too!!
We had a stunning walk around the Northern end of the Aupouri Penninsula to get to 90 mile beach. We had 3 nights out camping , a night at Hukekere Lodge - What an oasis and thanks so much to Gabrielle and Uncle for looking after us - then on to Ahipara. 
90 mile beach was stunning, the walk was quite demanding both physically and mentally as it is just "a long way!"
Ahipara is a gem and a surfer's paradise. Thanks to Anna at the Endless Summer Backpackers - well worth the extra 2 kilometers to Shipwreck Cove and a well earned rest.
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