Wednesday, 6 February 2013


"Home Field Advantage"

The closer we got to Wellington the more interaction we had with family and friends.

As in the first "Friendly Faces" blog, this is a huge thank you to all those who have made this journey so memorable.

Dad and Ben, dropping us back to the trail after spending the night with us in Whanganui. They bought us a big feed the night before that kept us going for several hours!

Sarn with Aaron, after a good nights sleep, (out of the elements), in the police station located in National Park. 

With Simon, owner of Canoe Safaris in Ohakune. Simon was kind enough to donate the use of a canoe for the trip. 
Simon has been offering canoe trips down the Wanganui River for many years now, and we highly recommend Canoe Safaris if you want to jump in and experience this incredible river.

Thank you "Snowhaven Accommodations" for donating a beautiful 2 bedroom townhouse in Ohaukune for a 2 day catch up with our families. The break from the trail was much needed, very comfortable, and welcomed!

A special thanks to Lane and Sarah in Ohakune.  They arranged the donations of our canoe and accommodation...and most notably, hosted a fantastic family BBQ with their children for all of us! We enjoyed continued family fun with them throughout our stay in town.

On the banks of Rangatikei River, outside of the town of Bulls, enjoying the roast pork meal that Melody and Clare prepared for us. Pictured also, are Sarn's children.     Note: The Rangitikei River is one of New Zealand's longest rivers, 185 kilometers.                                                     

Not often does this happen...a foot and lower leg message, compliments of Delwyn, Sarn's bosses wife. We visited with Mike and his family over lunch as we passed through Fielding. A rural farming community.

Peter and Jillian, Sarn's inlaws, in Palmerston North. We were well fed and taken care of for the night. Hot showers and much needed laundry. Another great visit with Melody, Clare and kids.

Just outside of Levin, a bunch of Sarn's work mates joined us on the trail for several km's... finishing with a cold beer and chocolate after a hard day's work? You bet... any combination of food and drink works for us. Cheers guys!

Another Special Thank You to brother Beni and his lovely wife Averil ,(pic to follow), for hosting us with an incredible evening of family fun and great tucker during our overnight in Otaki...pasta, roast, salads and, food, and more... food...everything a hiker needs and wants to refuel!  Beni would know!! 

Peter and Vera Taylor and son Allan, in Otaihanga on the beautiful Kapiti Coast.

The only thing we can say about their wonderful 4 course meal is...
"That's all we dream about now...every day"
After staying the night, we left with a belly full of breakfast and huge sandwiches.

Wonderful hosts and great laughs....thank you Allan, (on right next to Melody), for your quick witt and keen sense of are a natural!

Melody joining me on the banks of the Waikanae River, as we leave Peter and Vera's place.

Leon and Valerie Anquetil, Johnsonville. My formative years of growing up in Johnsonville was spent with my first cousin Leon. Their hospitality is always second to none. The Bar-be-que was brilliant, but apparently Leon's golf game needs improving...

Relaxing at home in Levin with Mum and Dad before heading down to the South Island. Mum and Dad have always supported and encouraged me in all my past adventures. Always wonderful to spend time with them. Mum and Dad, if you are reading this, I miss you and love you heaps!

Enjoying a great meal with Beni's Sister in law, Simone, her husband David and their family. Roast Pork,Crackling and Wine disappeared much too quickly! Yumm,yumm,yumm... Just a neat bunch of people with a great sense of humor!

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