Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Long Pathway Completed.

Upper east end of Lake Wakatipu with less than 2 weeks to go.

Take a big pan for these mushrooms!

 Along the Greenstone River

Sheep farms are predominant in Southland

The old phone booths of bygone days.

Moss covered rock

Martin's Hut, the last hut on the trail.
Martin’s Hut was built in 1905 by Fred Mason, to house a water race maintenance worker. Racemen were employed by mining companies to maintain the race, and to ensure a steady supply of water for mining operations. These men often lived by themselves in isolated environments. They faced an ongoing battle to clear fallen trees and branches, and to repair flood damage. Martin’s Hut is one of three gold mining era huts remaining on public conservation land in Southland.

The excitement of finishing is we have
22 km's to go along highway 1, then just another 7 km's via trail, around to
Stirling Point. (Southern terminus)

5 more km's to Stirling Point.

 Views of Stewart Island to the south and....count them....2 km's to go!


Stirling Point at Bluff and no where to go!
All done and dusted! We've made it!!
 3,054 km's (2,030 miles)
118 days to complete.


Awesome to have Beni join us. He walked the final 2 km's with us.
The operation on his knee, (torn cartilage), was successful.
His support from start to finish was priceless.


Now that we have hung our boots up for the last time on this trip, it is now time to reflect…

First, I want to thank all those who encouraged and helped us, before and during the journey.

A special thanks to:
Sue Eisaguirre, and everyone involved with Nature Track in California. A special, (and much needed), foundation, run by special people.
Kathy Gibson, and all those involved with New Zealand Special Olympics.

Walking for causes larger than ourselves kept us going when our minds and bodies wanted to stop.

My very supportive family and friends in NZ and in the USA, (always good to hear mum’s voice on the phone)…thanks Dad and brother Beni, for meeting up with us here and there…and thanks to my other brother, Joe, for your moral support on the phone from Australia.
Thanks also to Sarn’s mum, Carol, for flying over from Australia and making sure we were fed well.

Most of all, to my wife Melody, who gave me two thumbs up the moment I mentioned doing this journey. Getting encouragement like that was the deciding factor. Your support and encouragement throughout was invaluable!

We met a lot of friendly and hospitable people, which always renews ones faith in mankind.
They shared their hearts and homes with us smelly, scruffy hikers.
We also met other adventurers from different parts of the globe tackling the trail. We wish them success.

The scenery and countryside of New Zealand is varied and picturesque! The North Island…with gorgeous coastlines and it’s rolling to rugged farmlands.
The South Island…was more dramatic and physically challenging….fewer people and more open spaces.

The Te Araroa Trail, is by far, the most physically challenging I have experienced.
There were some easy sections…but for the most part…a tough workout.
I lost 14 lbs. of body muscles shrunk over time, and now I have to get a whole new wardrobe.

I am reminded that, there is a time and place for everything.  A time and a place to go, where you can reflect on life, and be inspired by the natural environment.

OK--------what next?

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