Paihia to The Farm

Day 13 (Sun 22 Nov): Rest day, Paihia Distance walked: around 6k. Calories consumed: Excessive. Word of the day: Faineant (noun), layabout, lazy sluggard Sunday, the day of rest. Ideally, we would have been faineants and lounged around the holiday park all day, but we needed to restock on some extra food from Paihia, soContinue reading “Paihia to The Farm”

Apple Dam to Paihia

Day 10 (Thurs 19 Nov): Apple Dam to Puketi Started 7.30am, finished 4pm, 25k Word of the day: Imprecation, spoken curse Water, flowers and trees summed up the day. We started out from the campsite on a dirt road strewn with white manuka flower petals, descending to Mangapukahukahu Stream, which sounds a mouthful but wasContinue reading “Apple Dam to Paihia”

Kaitaia to Apple Dam campsite

Day 7 (Mon 16 Nov): Kaitaia to North Raetea Forest campsite Started 7.30am, lunch at Takahue community hall 11.30am, reached campsite 1.45pm, 21k Pain in the head status: in the last hour of today’s walk, everything was hurting and I was dreading the onset of a migraine – but it never came. Tired as, andContinue reading “Kaitaia to Apple Dam campsite”

Ahipara to Kaitaia

Day 5 (Sat 14 Nov): Ahipara to Kaitaia Left Ahipara campsite at 8am, 1k to North Drift Cafe. Left cafe around 9am, reached Kaitaia (Beachcomber Lodge and Backpacker) around 1pm, 14k. Word of the day: Exigent, requiring much effort, demanding Pain in the head status: Nada. Feels amazing. Blisters and over-taxed calf muscles are almostContinue reading “Ahipara to Kaitaia”

Favourite piece of tramping gear

This is my new favourite thing. The thermorest Z seat. It folds up into a neat little package, it only weighs 60g, and provides the most delightful insulated padding for my behind, which is already delightfully padded, but this seat means my behind is cushioned from hard benches, wet tree roots, prickly grass, scorching stickyContinue reading “Favourite piece of tramping gear”

Maunganui Bluff to Ahipara

Day 3 (Thurs 12 Nov): Maunganui Bluff campsite to Hukatere campsite (90 mile beach) Started 7.55am, finished 4pm, 30k Pain in the head status: nagging neck pain started near the end of the walk, developing into a full-blown migraine, but quickly aborted by meds Being woken by the sound of horses neighing in the nightContinue reading “Maunganui Bluff to Ahipara”

Cape Reinga to Maunganui Bluff

Day 1 (Tue 10 Nov) Cape Reinga to Twilight Beach Started 10.30am, finished 2.30pm, 13.5k Word of the day: Bibulous, given to the consumption of alcohol Pain in the head status: Twinges on and off most of the day but ignorable We stayed overnight in Kaitaia, which was enough to determine that the flashest restaurantContinue reading “Cape Reinga to Maunganui Bluff”

Pre-Te Araroa test tramp: Matemateaonga

Labour weekend, two weeks before we were due to start Te Araroa. We hadn’t been tramping since February, what with COVID-19 and work busyness, so we needed to test ourselves. We had thought of doing the Mt Taranaki Round the Mountain track, but the forecast was dire. We had to find somewhere within driving distanceContinue reading “Pre-Te Araroa test tramp: Matemateaonga”

Te Araroa: What, why, when

If you haven’t already heard of it, Te Araroa (literally ‘long pathway’) is Aotearoa/New Zealand’s version of those famous thru-hikes such as the Appalachian Trail, the Camino de Santiago, the Pacific Crest Trail. Thru-hikes are expected to take a significant amount of time (months) although you can do bits of them at a time (sectionContinue reading “Te Araroa: What, why, when”

More about migraines

What is a migraine? Really, who knows. It’s a serious kind of brain fart. Something sets off the brain, maybe a change in neurotransmitters (the chemicals that nerves communicate with), or blood flow, or hormone levels, or nutrients, or… so many options. The end result is a pulsating, throbbing, stabbing pain in one side ofContinue reading “More about migraines”