Start Point: Gordon Kear Forest, Scotts Road off Tennant Drive (SH57), 5km north of Tokomaru (Western side of Tararua Ranges)
Finish Point: Junction of Mangahao & Tokomaru Valley Rds, approx. 12 km east of Shannon township
Distance: 17 km Time: 5 1/2 hours
My brother, Arran and sister in law, Becs flew over from Melbourne to join me to walk today. They had mentioned that they planned on dressing up but I thought they weren’t serious. They went all out and transformed themselves into tennis stars, Andre Agassi and John McEnroe. This included great wigs with headbands. They looked fantastic and acted in character a lot throughout the day.
We hadn’t walked far when we had some forestry workers go by and their looks showed they obviously were wondering what the heck was going on with these two dressed up walkers out in the middle of no where. Luckily we were going into a remote track rather than along a main road as they may have caused a car crash.
The track was good today with beautiful trees, streams and rivers. There was plenty of mud and I spent a lot of time laughing at Arran and Becs sliding around in it. Their tennis shoes didn’t have very good grip so they were slipping a lot on the down hills. It kept me entertained.
There were many streams today as well as four river crossings. The rivers were fairly swift, up to thigh high and a pretty chilly temperature. The streams were frequent and easy to walk through but meant we had wet shoes and we could clean the shoes after walking through mud.
Lunch today included Xmas mince pies and Favourites chocolates so we were getting into the festive season. We sat by the river to eat and admired how beautiful New Zealand is.
Arran had a friend, Brett give him $50 on his fundraising page but he stated if we listened to the Proclaimer’s song “I would walk 500 miles” for one hour while walking, he would double that amount. So the challenge was laid and we put the song on repeat.
For the first couple of times through we sang along. After about half an hour it started to get a bit annoying and then dragged on a bit and then we embraced it again. It was actually quite enjoyable and when the hour was over it seemed too quiet. Challenge complete!
This was a fantastic day with a variety of terrain and many laughs….thanks Arran and Becs for coming over to walk with me!