Back on TA and it has been a fantastic week. So far so good with our bodies holding up. Though we have only been out walking for a week, it certainly feels like we have been out a lot longer.
The scenery has been exceptional with gorgeous beaches, interesting towns, forestry roads that climbed high into the hills where the views were stunning, farm land and of course, almost my favourite, the New Zealand native bush. We passed one farm where we saw sheep being worked calmly and quietly near the homestead by two heading dogs. Interested to see where they were going to, we watched and it seemed the dogs were all by themselves and doing a grand job. I imagine they had been let off for a run and decided work needed doing!!
This last week has allowed us to experience huge kindness and generosity by people we do not know. TA walkers refer to these people as 'Trail Angels' and they really are. From the people who picked us up immediately we started hitch hiking to Shirley at Ruakaka, and Don and Lorraine at Langs Beach who went out of their way to help us. Mac and Sandy at Pakiri with lotsto share as well as the hot freshly baked sour dough rolls, yummy :). People we meet and talk to on the way all add to the richness of what we are doing.
What I found so interesting was that Trail Angels seem to appear, very often just when you need them. There is something quite special about 'letting go', not knowing what or who is around the next corner and embracing what ever it is.....we love it.
Beach walking, needs a mention and some photos as we have just about completed TA beaches, certainly the long ones. I can assure you, beach walking, km after km is quite the experience....... positive and at times challenging!
As we ease back into the walk, rest days have been really important. I get the opportunity to have a good long Qigong and Chun Yuen Quan practise and it lets us get to know our surroundings better.
Our first rest day was at Waipu. This is a great little town with a superb museum and it seems to have a strong sense of identity along with a great community spirit. I think it's deep Scottish roots and annual new year Highland Games may have some thing to do with that. Our second rest day was enjoying the sun kissed beach life of Pakiri. What a stunning coastline we have just expetienced.
For this posting, my MUI (most useful item) was my rain skirt. Great piece of equipment and don't bother buying one of you want one, use a rubbish bag like Anthony did, works just as well, see earlier photos.
The MVA (most valuable addition) to this walk has been including some specific for walking, leg/muscle/joint stretching and moving exercises that my dear friend Zena shared with me. Zena had recently done some hiking in Nepal and these exercises were practised during their hike. Thank you Zena, I believe they have really made a difference:)
That's it from me..... into the hills we go!
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!