[This was written when the adventure was due to start, and I’ve left it here, complete, for posterity.]
When I first read about Te Araroa (the trail that stretches from New Zealand’s Cape Reinga to Bluff) I thought “I want to do that one day”.
That day has arrived. Well, 21 November 2010 anyway.
The best response I’ve had so far has been from a lady I’d just met. When she heard my plans to take 4-5 months to walk 3,000km she looked at me and said earnestly “Don’t you have a car?”
Most people are very supportive and encouraging. They understand I’m about to embark on an adventure I’ve been longing to do for nearly ten years, and seem to draw inspiration from the challenges it brings. Perhaps they’re just glad they’re not facing the blisters!
Another thing about me: I hold a senior national volunteer role for SCOUTS New Zealand. Therefore, whilst this is not a trip to raise funds, I would love to wave the flag for this amazing 102-year-old organisation and where possible, promote SCOUTS along the way.
Also, if you have a moment, spare a thought for the wonderful Te Araroa Trust. They have toiled for years (with limited funds and resources) to establish this national walkway, and are on the verge of completing it. I’m sure next year’s official launch will be a doozy!
Why have I called this site My Adventure Plus? The tag-line for SCOUTS NZ is ‘Adventure Plus’ because that’s what we offer Kiwi youth – adventure, and a whole lot more besides. Walking Te Araroa is my adventure, and then some!
If you’d like to be a part of this adventure, there are 3 things you could do to help me out:
1. Encourage a friend to subscribe to this blog, or connect with me on Facebook (facebook.com/smilingstuart). The more people who follow my exploits, the happier my sponsors will be and the bigger the promotion for SCOUTS.
2. Put aside some coins, keep adding to them, and when there are quite a few, simply click the ‘donate now’ button above and send me a dollar or twenty so that I don’t have to walk a month on an empty stomach! 🙂 Yes, I’ve had to toss in my job to achieve this dream… [If you donate more than $50 you’ll receive a copy of the limited edition – just 200 copies -, individually numbered and signed book I’m intending to write after I stop walking.]
3. Post a message of support! Your words encourage me, and I’m sure will help when the trail seems never-ending. Thanks!