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!

Feel free to add comments to our blog below, just click on "comments" below the blog entry and write in the box then add your name or be anonymous!!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Happy New Year

Guess what we got for Christmas!!
We hope that you all had a great Christmas and that 2013 will be a good year for you.
We had a great break with Steve`s family over Xmas and started walking again on the 27th December.

Wind blasted in South Crater.

We returned to Tongariro National Park to do the crossing which was closed when we passed through last time due to minor eruptions. Tongariro behaved itself this time but we could only access the mountain from the South side and go to the Red Crater rim and back. We got the views together with 500 other people and gale force winds. From never seeing another soul on the Te Araroa this was a bit of a shock to the system. It really is a spectacular walk. I sat on the crater rim at 1800m - freezing cold in the strong wind but the shingle was too hot too sit on with warm steam wafting across my face!! Do not listen to Steve who said it was more to do with last nights curry and not volcanic activity.
 We also could not resist adding the new Timber Trail cycling route through the Pureora Forest with its new suspension bridges and the use of the old railway trail down into Ongarue. A magnificent track and a must for all you cyclists out there.

So onto Wanganui or Whangunui......who knows?? To start again where we had left off. The next section to to Palmerston North is 105k mostly on the roads!! This has been hard yakka in the hot weather. We really enjoyed visiting Turakina beach and its two lovely art galleries then onto the unbelievabull Bulls to Fielding, Bunneythorpe and beyond. We arrived early one morning in Bunneythorpe to find the local Dairy closed but the sign on the door said open at 8am. It was 8.15 ish!! We sat under a shady tree for a break and at 9am the shop opened. When I went across the guy said that yes although the sign says 8 he always opens at 9!! Rural NZ eh??

A very welcome cold beer.

We are now in Palmerston North with Craig and Christine, thanks for your hospitality guys and for the drop offs looking forward to seeing you in Hanmer one day.
Looking forward to the Tararuas next and getting off the tar seal!! Just broke through 1400kms, still not quite halfway!!

Just broken through $4000 raised for Cancer Research. Remember you can click on the Cancer Research donate button to see who has donated. It doesn't commit you to a donation. Thanks to everyone who has donated.

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