Day 60 – Thursday 11th December

Bulls to Palmerston North

Start Point: Bulls

Finish Point: Palmerston North

Distance: 33km Time: 7 hoursimage image

Mary was the lucky walker with me today. She is the mother of Karrie-Ann who I used to work with. We were driven back to Bulls while hoping the weather would improve as it had been raining a lot over night and this morning.

I took a few photos coming out of Bulls as we started, of their funny signs and then we had a long bridge to cross. We quickly learnt that it was not a day to wear a cap as both of us had them blow off and we had to chase after them.

I wasn’t impressed with the traffic today. The last six days I have had lovely drivers that have moved over for us walking. Today no one seemed to move even if there was a passing lane for them to shift into. I got agro at a few as they were driving in the verge area coming straight for us.

I think it was the wind that was making my mood aggressive. It was head on and pushed us about a lot today. It made the pace slower and the effort to walk a lot harder. I guess that it is to be expected getting near Palmy. I spent four years at Uni there so I know all about how windy it can be.

After only 5km we came to Sanson so we enjoyed a coffee and biscuit. We hadn’t really walked far enough yet but you have to take your opportunities when they present themselves.

We then walked on to the Memorial site on Mount Stewart and could see Palmerston North in the distance. We had a quick 5 minute sit down out of the wind.

Walking on, my right side was giving me some pain due to walking on an angle for seven days now. It is so hard to find a flat surface on the side of the road. It was playing havoc With Mary’s legs as well.

We stopped and had lunch on the side of the road and it was hard sitting down and then hard standing up again. There was plenty of creaking and groaning.

Walking again we then had a car pull into the verge in front of us and we wondered what it was doing. It ended up being my Uncle Brian coming to see us. It was a quick catch up and we carried on before we ceased up too much.

There were plenty of long straights today especially as we came into Palmy. It was hard knowing that we didn’t just need to reach the start of the city but instead go all the way through to Fitzherbert bridge on the other side, about 3km in distance.

We stopped off at the Z petrol station for an ice cream to give us a boost for the last 3 km. This turned into a lovely experience as Lester who served us enquired if we had walked far enough to deserve the ice creams. We shared our story and he got out his wallet and donated to the cause.

We walked straight through the Square, in the middle of town and in our way was three huge steps. Anyone watching would of laughed at how much we struggled getting down them. We grimaced and giggled.

There were loads of traffic lights and crossing, so we were stopping and starting. This is hard when you just want to get to the end. We finally made it and sitting down was utter bliss. Thank you Mary for getting me through the day. I am so happy to be finished all the road walking! Tomorrow I return to the Te Araroa Trail…..yay!

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