Of course, when it comes to the challenge of walking the length of New Zealand, while I have yet to start on the trail, the first steps have already been taken: This walk has been in my mind for a long, long time. I have been and will be, increasingly consumed with logistics as my departure date nears. Inevitably, I think, one questions whether "I am up to it". But I believe so.
Yes, it's a big task - but that is part of its appeal. I hope the rewards will reflect the physical, mental and even spiritual challenge that it will undoubtedly be. I also hope it will be about so much more than going from A to B (via a very long route), about more than the chance to explore this beautiful country it will afford me (and any companions who want to join me along the way!), about more than putting one foot in front of the other.
It's also a chance to raise awareness, and what funds I can, for MS. I won't repeat my personal reasons why i think this is so worthwhile (you can find these on the 'About Me' page if interested). I will be giving talks to some of the local MS groups both during and after the tramp and am also happy to talk to any other groups who wish to hear about MS and the impact this insidious disease has on people and their families (as well as weaving in a little about my walk). In the 'not so real' world (meaning indoors!), my day job means that I am not afraid to get up and speak and have had a fair bit of experience in that area.
I am organising my food drops at the moment and am still looking for anyone who may be interested in either helping with this or tramping with me for a section of the trail (I'll be adding my tentative schedule and waypoints to this site shortly which may give you an approximate idea of where i intend to be and when).
The givealittle site is now 'live'! (all funds benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society of NZ and New Zealand Multiple Sclerosis Research Trust).
I won't be the first to through-hike the Te Araroa trail - or to blog about it! To be frank, I think it's likely that blogging at the end of a long day may not always be at the top of my priorities, even where reception exists! However, once on the trail, I will do my very best to blog as I go and hope to post some awesome pictures of the best of New Zealand backcountry.
I hope you will come along with me here for my virtual ramble.