Warts and all (well, blisters anyway)

When I was overseas some years ago I had the policy of ‘all news is good news’ – meaning, anything reported back home was the positive stuff. Family couldn’t do anything to help being so far away, so what was the point scaring them with bad stuff?

I’m tempted to write this blog the same way. After all, I tend to be a positive chap and focus on the ‘glass-half-full’, yet when I’ve spoken to people about it, it seems you want the full story, warts and all, good times and bad…

So if you’re squeamish, don’t scroll down.

On Sunday I walked with a light pack (Alan and Denise were going to Paihia anyway so took the bulk of my gear) from Kerikeri through Waitangi Forest to Waitangi (browsed the meeting house and grounds briefly) and on to Paihia.

My left shin was swollen again, though not as bad as the previous week. The right foot however had gone out in sympathy, with a blister the size of Texas having appeared on the outside heel.

I caught the ferry across to Russell where I pitched my tent at the Top 10 Holiday Park (awesome campsite – great facilities). Yesterday I took it easy, shuffling around town and sitting under a tree at Long Beach. The evening was spent with an unexpected visit from Melissa, who wanted fish n chips and thought Paihia was a great place to have them, driving up from Auckland. Yum!

Today I packed everything up ready to walk, but when I put my shoes on to depart I knew I needed help. Ouch!

So off to the doctor. Did you know blisters aren’t covered by ACC? $75 later it’s all nicely dressed with that ‘second skin’ type stuff. They had to cut off the dead skin (after all the fluid and puss drained) so the dressing could work directly on the wound.

Here’s just before the dressing went on:

If this was a tyre, I would be looking for a new retread! Ouch.

I shuffled my way to the pharmacy for some antibiotics (more drugs – ick!) and then back to the campsite, where rain was looming. The lovely ladies in the campground office took pity on me as I booked yet another night, and offered me a cute wee cabin, complete with mattress and pillows to keep my leg raised. Yay them! Thanks heaps.

So tomorrow’s not looking likely for more walking. Who knows when I’ll be hitting the trail again… perhaps I should check out Russell’s situations vacant? It is a very nice part of the country after all.

Thanks for all your messages and words of encouragement. Yes, I’m trying to stay upbeat and realise that there are lessons in all this.

Stuart 🙂

About Stuart Fleming

Just a guy who likes to walk and write.
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19 Responses to Warts and all (well, blisters anyway)

  1. Pip says:

    That is nasty Stu… get some really good steri pads some good ankle tape… strap it so nothing moves… or get some Teva’s to walk in… or good old jandles!

    • Thanks Pip – if only the terrain I’m walking through was conducive to open-toes! I haven’t posted the pic I took of my shredded shin, thanks to big hills covered in cutty-grass… 😉

  2. Deb McFadyen says:

    Hi Stuart, ouchy! but good on you for telling it like it is and not glamming it up. Still, it might have made a great shark story…keep smiling 🙂

  3. Rachel says:

    Hi Stuart – ouch! Looks like your feet need tender care there. Nice to have all the news – adversity is the key to a good story after all!

    Wishing you well from Dunedin,


  4. Sarah Reaburn says:

    ouch!! for sure……thats stink, must delay things a bit:(

  5. Jo Gillespie says:

    Wow…that nearly goes all the way through to the other side!
    Tevas might be the way to go, Stuart, to stop stuff rubbing on it while it heals – of course, new sandals might give you blisters in other places! I think the first chapter of your book should be called “Slow and Steady, People – it isn’t a race” 🙂
    We’re all behind you, supporting you, and if you need to take a break in Russell, so be it. You’ll get back on the trail when you can. Remember, we’re all doing this vicariously through you. That means, we’ve all learnt this lesson WITH you.
    Keep smiling, Stuart. You’re out there to explore and learn. There might even be a reason why you need to be in Russell for a few extra days.

    • Great first chapter title Jo! I’d been thinking along the lines of “Ten Way to Spend a Sunny Afternoon When You’re Hiking and Can’t Walk” except I could only come up with three ways… 😦

  6. Sheryl Baron says:

    Hi Stuart,
    I just made a mess of my first attempt at connecting with you! Let me know when you will be doing the small part of Auckland that the Te Araroa Walkway goes through but I did want you to know that you are welcome to use a Scout Hall, a home or whatever you need for this part of your journey….just let me know any revised times after this blister incident and what you need from us in Akarana Zone. We would love to have some Cubs and Keas join you on the walk OR you could join us in packing our container for Jamboree!!! Be in touch with what you need and some firming up dates and we will help and fit in all we can!! Hope the blister is healing! Sheryl Baron, ZL, Akarana

    • Thanks Sheryl, much appreciated. You’ll have seen I’m heading to Auckland today, so over the weekend I’ll work out which parts of the trail are closest to you and we’ll see what we can arrange. 🙂

      • Sheryl Baron says:

        The only part of the walkway that goes through the part of Auckland in our Zone is what we affectionately call the Coast to Coast! It goes from the ferry terminal to the Manukau Harbour which is where you head into David Thorpe country…Manukau Zone. It is just a city walk up and down the volcanic cones but it would be GREAT to have our Keas, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rovers join you if at all possible??? Let me know so I can activate the troops/Troops! Sheryl

  7. Seona says:

    Hey Stuart. You probably know this already, and tell me to shut up otherwise! I know its hot etc, but your feet would fare better if you wear a thin ‘liner sock’ under your regular sox. Dont wear cotton sox, they will only chafe more quickly. Always always always take compede (second skin) with you. AS SOON AS you feel a rub starting, get that stuff on. Its expensive, but much cheaper than visiting a Dr every other day. My friend did a Sahara walk for charity and she wore 2 prs sox (on Ewan’s advice). They all thought she was mad, but she was the only one that didnt have blisters. Dont know what to advise re shin splints tho?

    • Ahhhh… the age-old two-different-schools-of-thought re one sock versus two. Thanks Seona! 🙂 A Sahara walk? And they thought she was mad for wearing two pairs of socks? I think they overlooked the obvious!! 😉

  8. Kenyon Metford says:

    That’s one mean looking blister Stuart! I really hope your blister and shin are healing up fast so that you can start hiking again and we can all read more about your trail stories… and see more photos too!

  9. Mike Rowe says:

    Gidday Stuart, thats a mighty wound there, perhaps healing as you go
    would keep the spirit bouyuant, (words of encouregment!!) Heres some
    food for thought ,How about a club where those who complete
    Te Araroa can register and be members, any thoughts on that??
    I guess swapping stories (and blister remedies would be a past time)
    All the best for the coming days. Cheers

    • It will be a small club Mike – not many people (though numbers are growing) are silly – I mean adventurous – enough to complete such a trek. Have you checked out the Google Group you can access via the Te Araroa website? That’s full of ideas, tips and suggestions from fellow hikers.

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