Upon finishing the high route of the Pyrénées and grand traverse of the Alps trails, I spent a week recovering in London before spending 24 hours on two planes to bring me first to Malaysia, and finally to Auckland, New Zealand.
I am here for a few days soaking up the culture and working through the jet lag (my body thinks I went to sleep at 8am after not really sleeping for 46 hrs, though it was 8pm in Auckland).
So far, everything is awesome: everything is inexpensive compared to London, and U.S. money is worth 1.5x more here. People are nice and interesting. The town is bustling with people from all over the world, drawn here by claims of the unnatural beauty of this country.
On Saturday, I will catch a night bus to Wellington, the first of a few that will take me to the Southern tip of the South Island, where some of the grandest, most acclaimed mountains of our world live.
Then, I will begin hiking north, following generally the 1,400km Te Araroa trail, but also including as many scenic alternate routes, Great Walks, and LOTR filming locations as possible. I welcome the opportunity to wild camp and stretch my limited budget as far as I possibly can. I have $2,500 of savings left, which must last me 4 months, although given my history will probably only last 2.5 months, at which point I will seek work or have to arrange the sale of something of value back home.
Either way, that’s a problem for later.
For now, I am enjoying the culture, stocking up on needed supplies, tending to my gear, and working out travel logistics.
I hope to provide another fascinating account of time spent in truly wild lands, as one of my contributions to the collective global culture that we now share.
As always, my goal is to create stories and record pictures and information that inspire and compel others to their own marvelous travels and adventures, and to provide interesting, compelling content for those who cannot venture out into rugged mountains for weeks on end.
I write now from a house-sit in Oamaru, taking care of a nice dog named Old Tom.
See you on the trail!