One island down – one to go

From Pukerua Bay (thanks Rachel!) the day was filled with big hills (Colonial Knob and Mount Kaukau), gales, bits of rain and a young couple late-returning from an orienteering event in the forest.

Not every beach I've walked is golden sand...

Decipher this statue however you wish!

One thing about Wellington - it doesn't mess around with half-hearted weather.

The views were stunning, the strong winds bracing and the welcome I received from Andrew Simm was glowing. He is one of the local trustees of Te Araroa and has done much of the route-work, signage and notes for the trail through Wellington. He met me on Old Coach Road and walked with me up Mount Kaukau, pointing out all the local bits of interest.

We were collected at the bottom of the hill by his wife Prue, whose delicious lasagne dinner I tried not to wolf down too quickly 🙂 It was a great evening, with four other Te Araroa trustees joining us, all keen to learn how I was finding the trek – they’re stoked that people are using the trail and making the most of all their efforts in putting the details together.

Given Andrew has also done long trails overseas – including over two months on the Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Canada to Mexico along the American west – I’m keen to chat with him further after my adventure about his adventures.

Yesterday (walking day #58) was a shorter day kilometre-wise, but being Wellington it was still full of hills. I actually found it quite tiring… I’m physically and mentally ready for a break. Instead of ending at the top of the cable-car (which the trail originally did, so you could easily get to the ferries) it continues along the City to Sea pathway to Island Bay: from there if you continue south you get wet feet!

A council with a sense of humour? Surely not 🙂

When I eventually arrived at the beach at Island Bay, it was a strange feeling. No fanfare. No fireworks. No parade or papparazzi. In fact, the evening before with Andrew and Prue felt more like a ‘completion’. But before long Iain and Carl arrived to drag me kicking and screaming to all-you-can-eat pizza at Hell with the Victoria Rover Crew. Let’s just say I ate my money’s worth of pizza 😉

A short visit to Kelburn 1st 1909 Scout Troop to field another round of brilliant questions closed off the day. It was great to finally arrive at Lorna and Kylie’s place, knowing a sleep-in was not only desired, but expected.

Te Araroa: North Island? Done 🙂

Island Bay, Wellington. A looong way from Cape Reinga. I've walked between them. Crazy!

About Stuart Fleming

Just a guy who likes to walk and write.
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8 Responses to One island down – one to go

  1. Hi Stuart,
    I read your post to the boys. It’s a pity they have forgotten Pukerua Bay. They liked the Woof Woof Ruff sign, but their favourite part was the visit to Hell Pizza where you can get All-you-can-eat Pizza! WOW! Ewan is always wanting more pizza when we have home made ones for dinner. I guess right that you’d visit Jaki and Clive in Waikanae too!
    Great progress!

  2. Maria aka Boots says:

    awesome work stu love the photo 🙂 Y
    keep up the good work going and going, your updates are inspiration to keep going down here in chch.

    • Thanks Maria… I still applaud the efforts and attitude of everyone in Christchurch. I feel fortunate not to be dealing with it all directly, though my thoughts are certainly with you all.

  3. Amylee says:

    Congratulations Stuart,
    Keep up the good walking 🙂

  4. Mark Boggiss says:

    Gidday Stu, congrats on reaching the bottom of the north island. It’s quite an amazing feat in itself and one certainly to be proud of. Enjoy the break, the sleep ins and the R&R – you deserve it!!

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