Friday, 1 February 2013

North Island Summary

The North Island is done! Approx 1,600 km’s, (about 1,000 miles), under our belt and a lot of stories and memories to share!  Eleven blisters came and went...the aches and pains still hitching a ride, but, diminishing in number. The South Island looms, as does a different terrain than the North.  More wild, more remote and more mountainous. I suspect a different experience unfolding.

Here is a summary of the North Island:

With great excitement and anticipation, we headed south from Cape Reinga along the 90 mile beach. The day was warm and sunny. Our spirits soaring!
The romance had soon dimmed, as the blistered feet took center stage. The new aches and pains that appeared were an unwelcomed burden to carry.  But hey, it’s what I expected would happen anyway, but not like this...
The rough, wet, muddy terrain of the Northland forests took its first victim in brother Beni.
With a torn cartilage in his right knee, we lost a friend and a soul mate. His spirit remains with us and so does his moral support as we continue.
The scenery of the North was memorable, beautiful, peaceful and worth another visit in the future. The forests were challenging, surreal and full of colorful bird life.
The road walking- sometimes long, boring and very hard on the body.
The people we met along the way made a huge impact, in lifting our spirits as our bodies and minds became used to walking all day. These experiences and memories gave us a renewed faith in mankind.

The ultimate highlights so far?
We met several hikers from different parts of the world including England, France, Germany, USA, Canada and Scotland. They all shared similar stories of warmth and hospitality throughout their journeys.
I want to thank all those we have met along the way...also, my friends and family here in New Zealand, and back in America. Not only for inspiring me, but also, for your encouragement in taking on this epic journey! This is what motivates me personally...this is what drives me through the sometimes lonely and arduous hours on the trail.
Last, but not least, I thank my wife Melody, for her love, support, and patience (only an angel could put up with me). I could not do this without your support!

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