Plan A for this adventure was to start at Cape Reinga and walk to Bluff, following Te Araroa pretty much in order.
With a couple of physical hiccups (swollen shin and infected mega-blister) Plan B was to sit and wait for the body to catch up, then continue as intended.
I woke up this morning and instigated Plan C – tomorrow I catch a bus from Paihia to Auckland, stay with friends and look at completing the urban bits of Te Araroa whilst I have a base to work from, thus not having to carrying my entire gear during the day-walks. Plus, I’ll be in a better location to visit a physio to confirm whether my shin is in fact ‘swollen tendons’ or (as I suspect) sometime else entirely.
What brought this about? Several things…
1) my shin is still uncomfortable, even after 10 days without carrying a full pack. I don’t want to stuff up my physical ability for the rest of this trek – or a lifetime of dancing and tennis – just to pigheadedly keep walking, which I could do. So I need to get it sorted.
2) I don’t have my computer with me here in Russell: it’s in the bounce-box heading to Whangarei. So I can’t map out later routes or start typing my book. Grrr…
3) It’s only my self-imposed ‘rule’ of walking top to bottom that’s been getting in the way of me being creative. As much as I wanted to do the thing in one go, I realise that this whole Te Araroa adventure is about whether I can actually walk the length of the country, ie 3,000km. If that means I juggle the route a bit to allow for looking after myself physically, then so be it.
4) I was talking with a lovely Dutch couple last night, who are here cycling around as much of NZ as they can in three months. Paola and Carlos were describing how their initial plans have been hampered a bit by incorrectly-sized bikes and a broken pannier. But they had ways to get around these difficulties and continue their holiday. They got me thinking about how I might keep my adventure going, albeit in a slightly different way than the original plan.
So that’s the update. Tomorrow, public transport instead of foot-power. It means I’ll be in Auckland earlier than anticipated, so I’m up for all those Xmas party invitations I’ve declined (kidding!).
To those folk around Whangarei/Warkworth/Orewa/North Shore who are awaiting my arrival – sorry team! I’ll keep you posted with when I expect to be in your neighbourhood.
Plan C – here we come! 😀