This is an 'unofficial' Update that does not constitute a blog!!
I have it on good authority (her majesty) that Rach has now reached the south coast - at Riverton....AND has actually sighted Bluff!!!! OK, given her 'visual acuity', I tend to suspect an actual 'sighting' may possibly be either wishful thinking or possibly fatigue-induced hallucination. But whatever...she's close!
It leaves a mere 67km (42 miles for those in the old world), or so to go.
Or rather NOT to go. Yes, ..... < deep breath> TO FINISH!!!
This means only 2 days (plus quite possibly 'a bit') until her epic 3,000+km adventure reaches its culmination, its climax, its zenith!!!
Please show your support and appreciation of Rach's amazing achievement - however you feel able. Her driving motivation has been to raise awareness of MS, assist research into the cause, prevention, treatment, and cure of this disease and to support the MS community within NZ.
If you can possibly spare it (and aren't among the generous supporters who have already contributed, in SO many ways), you can also show appreciation for her efforts by contributing through the MS-TrampNZ Givealittle site, to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of NZ and New Zealand Multiple Sclerosis Research Trust.
I’m blogged out....tramped out, sleeping in a freezing cold wet tent out. Just plain... wiped out.
The Te Araroa has recently made media headlines, after a French guy set fire to his toilet paper and associated contents on the shore of lovely Lake Pukaki. The well thought-out trail gets you to tramp 30k from Tekapo then tells you that there is another 30k to the designated camp ground so everybody camps wherever they collapse. The French seem to have a relaxed attitude to going to the loo ‘in the nature’, as my mate Richard found in the Richmond Ranges, when he narrowly avoided being hit by a swirling arc of French pee....
I got a lift to Glenorchy with Shaun who works on a farm. He offered me some dope, beer and a ‘good time’. It was 9am. I guess that you have to make the most of your free days and as they say, God loves a tryer....
I then waited and waited, until a lovely Chinese couple gave me a lift to the start of Greenstone track, where the TA Trail restarts on the other side of Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown. They took my photo and were very nice but, while exceedingly grateful, I have no idea why they were on that gravel road, as they were dressed very smartly. Possibly their GPS was going rogue?
I caught up on trail news and heard that Harriet and Alex have decided to finish their TA Trail in Milford Sound and this seems to be par for the course at this stage of the trail. Most people that I meet now are walking the South Island section only and it would be fair to say that, if my trail is a jigsaw with the occasional small missing piece (parts of Lake Hawea section), then there are many more people that have a very fluid definition of what constitutes the TA.
This may be due to the exciting nature of Southland farmland and some not-so-friendly farmers - according to my anonymous local source, who has hunted in Southland for decades, the new station owner (‘that Dutch bastard’) doesn’t want trampers on his station. See photo of friendly sign.
He only wants up to 8 people at a time walking on his land if the moon is in alignment and/or they haven’t randomly-closed access. Why take the trail through the beautiful Catlins when you can send trampers across paddocks full of belligerent cows and/or bulls. There will not be a TA tramper who has not experienced farmers who love to speed up to you on their quad bikes when you are on the TRAIL, pausing only to hurl abuse. Lovely.
PS: If you do not finish a run race, you are classified as ‘DNF’. I used to be happy that I have never had 'DNF' next to my name, but my experiences on the Te Araroa have given me pause for thought:
I ask myself now ‘have I pushed myself to my outer limits and beyond before this trip?’ Over the last 4 months I have most definitely visited the most deepest and darkest places that I have ever experienced.(ed: and given her post-quake trials, that's really saying something!). I am now living in this unknown outer territory.
Honestly I have written in my head so many, many times, the blog about dropping out, not finishing this trail. You may have sensed that I have been so very close to quitting on more than a few occasions. Whilst I am very happy at the prospect of finishing at Bluff in 10 days or so and thus completing this odyssey - ‘knocking the bastard off’ - frankly at the moment, I’m anticipating the prospect more with an overwhelming sense of relief than satisfaction. I would have been equally happy if I had left earlier, as I know that I have more than paid the price for a DNF ticket but not cashed it in....
is New Zealand's trail. The 3000km route stretches from Cape Reinga in the North of New Zealand to Bluff in the South and was officially opened in December 2011.
I am tramping the trail, North-South, starting in November 2015 and finishing in March/April 2016. I hope to raise awareness of the great work done by the Multiple Sclerosis Society and also to raise some funds for them.
I will be carrying my own tent and supplies but I would very much appreciate any help that people could give me e.g.: