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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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Thanks to Sportsmed.

It is all about our feet !!!!

Having successfully moved Beth back to Hanmer Springs we took the opportunity to call in at Sportsmed Podiatry in Christchurch to try to sort out our sore feet. A new set of orthotics was a simple solution for Lynne. However Steve needed substantial strapping to carry on ....(Thanks to Kate and Adela for their help and the generous donation by Sportsmed of 12 rolls of tape to keep us going). Although the tape was just for his foot I have been tempted to use it over his mouth at times !!!

Final resting place for our first pair of boots.
We left our old boots behind at the Trampers Rest and said a fond farewell to Shona and Bruce at the Karamu Valley Lodge and tramped over the Kapamahunga Reserve and up to the Pahautea Hut in the Pirongia mountains. The first North Island hut on the trail, which was spectacularly located and gave us the view of a tremendous sunset.

We carried on through the Limestone country, through Waitomo and on to the centre of the universe - which as you all know is Bennydale, close to the Te Miringa Te Kakara (the temple of the four winds).

Hihikiwi summit 900m, Pirongia Mountains
We have also completed the Wanganui River Journey with friends Sally, Peter, Janet and Jeff and will tell the story in the next blog entry. So we have travelled over 1000k now, only 2000 to go. The next section includes the Tongario Crossing - which may have to wait as the volcanoes are being temperamental at the moment!!!

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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Waikato Region - the home of dairy herds.
We have spent the last 6 days heading south through the Waikato. A diverse section of paths, alongside the mighty Waitako river on stop banks and paddocks. Past the Huntly power station whose orange towers could be seen from a long way off and on to Ngaruawahia the home of the Maouri King.
Huntly Power Station
We then traversed the Hakarimata Range - a great DOC tramping track with a huge look out tower at the end so that at last we had a view from the bush!!
We must say a big thank you to the Huntly Golf Club for the free drinks and whip round donation of $90.
We then followed the City to Mountain track through Hamilton. A wonderful route along the river, past Lake Rotoroa and onto the Arboretum, then heading for the hills.
We have now completed 804 kilometers - that is half way down North Island and have raised $3450.
Now taking a 4 day break to move Beth back to Hanmer.