Saturday, December 27, 2008

Day 57 - Pareora - Glenavy.

51km day today... Only 9 more walking days!!!!!Left the Goodhew's place this morning, and drove to the motel where my Mum, Grandma, and Ange were staying. It was sad to leave the Goodhew's as they are a wonderful family, who really looked after me over the past few days. I really enjoyed spending time with the girls (Harriet, Emily, and Abi). Thank you once again for all that you have done, it is much appreciated, and wont be forgotten! (Mark gets special mention for watching 'Little Britain' with me last night - Great impressions!!!).Thanks also to my Mum, who brought down her Ipod for me to use (after mine broke, walking in the miserable Canterbury rain last sat!!). I really notice the difference in my speed when I have music.Began walking, and was joined by Andrea, Sarah, and Matthew. Andrea walked with me for about 15km, while Matt & Sarah drove in convoy with my 2 JUCY cars. I had a really awesome time chatting with Andrea, and learnt a lot about CF in the process. We stopped in Makikihi for lunch and to re-fuel the cars. Highlight was when the shop attendant came out from behind the counter to meet me at the drinks fridge - just to shake my hand. I continued walking, and a lady and her daughter stopped especially on the side of the road to make a donation (Thanks!). Jo and Mark also spotted me walking as they were driving south, and tooted encouragement. Later on in the afternoon, my friend Greg joined me for the last 20km. It was really neat having him along, and we spent most of the time chatting. Once we finished for the day (in the metropolis of Glenavy, 18 or so km north of Oamaru), I dropped Greg home (at his in-laws), and found our accommodation for the next few nights (Thank you VERY much to the Gawn family, for letting us use your home! I look forward to meeting you tomorrow!! Thank you also to Bevan Crombie for the donated gift packs!!!). After having a quick shower and sorting out our bags etc, Paul, Ange, Mum, Grandma and I all drove around to Greg's place for dinner. Once we arrived, Greg and Katherine introduced us to Katherine's parents (Jean & Ken), and her brother Stewart. We had the best curry I have ever eaten and spent the rest of the eveing talking. It was an awesome night, and the 'crew' and I had a really enjoyable night. Thank you very much to our hosts - a really awesome way to finish the day - with friends.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day 55 - Christmas. Day 56: Boxing Day/Rest Day.

Day 55 - Christmas:Had a bit of a sleep in this morning after a few big days of walking. I arrived downstairs to find my hosts, the Goodhew's, waiting for Margaret and Myself to wake up, before they opened their presents (Really sorry about that guys, I had no idea you were waiting for us!!!). I then went down to Timaru Baptist for their Christmas morning service. After church, I drove back to the Goodhews, to pick up Margaret and take her around to the Hitchings for christmas lunch. I spent a bit of time catching up with Sarah, Andrea, and Matt, before I went home. Mark and Jo had a few friends and family around for Christmas lunch. I had a great time talking with Jo's dad, Bruce, and her uncle John - mostly about politics and travel. After lunch, most of the guests left, and I spent a few hours talking with Bruce some more, before heading to my room for a rest. We had dinner, I went for a drive to 'expolre' Timaru, and spent the eveining watching 'Love Actually' with the family. Really enjoyable day. I wasn't really looking forward to christmas, being away from home and Family & friends etc. I am really thankful to Mark, Jo, Emily, Harriet, and Abi, for opening their home to me over christmas, and making me feel welcome. Much apprecieated. Thank you also for the present - my favourite type of 'fuel'! Thank you also to margaret for driving for the last few days - this trip would have been difficult without a support driver - so thank you for giving up time with your family, to follow me!
Day 56:I went with Em, Harriet, and Abi to their rowing practice this morning, and watched for a little bit. I left to drive to the airport to pick up Ange (new support crew member). Ange and I came back to Jo's place and had a coffee and catch up, before I took Ange to her hotel. Once the girls got home from rowing, we all went into town to take advantage of the boxing day sales. While in town, I got a phone call from Jo, who said she had arranged for me to talk at the opening of the Caroline Bay carnival. I was a little bit nervous, but public speaking is a huge part of this walk, particularly for raising awarness about CF - so I had to get over the nervousness. We turned up at the Carnival, and I was 'briefed' on the programme. Jo (as the local MP was also involved in the opening ceremony) and did an amazing job of introducing me. Unfortunately, I wasn't too flash and kept it 'short and sweet'. Once we left the stage, we sat in the front row and enjoyed the entertainment. I particularly enjoyed Eddy Lowe - a favourite of the Caroline Bay carnival. After the concert, I collected a bit of money from the carnival goers (I estimate close to $150). Thank you to everyone who stopped to chat and donated. I caught up with Sarah. Sarah, Abi, and I went on a few of the carnival rides. we didn't last long, and decided to come home. My Mum and Grandma flew down this afternoon to take up positions in the support crew, and we are just about to have a BBQ at the Goodhew's. I start walking again tomorrow after 2 days rest. I am really looking forward to having my friend Greg join me for part of the way. However, it will be sad leaving the Goodhew's. Thank you once again for your hospitality, particularly over Christmas, and your very generous donation.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 53: Ashburton to Orari. Day 54: Orari to Timaru.

Day 53:Had an interview on Port FM this morning. Went into the studio at 815-ish and spoke with Andy. Good interview, although I wasn't too articualte. Also got a copy of the Ashburton Gaurdian Newspaper. Great article/photo (it even had the fundraise online site!!). Stopped in at Shell to fill the van with petrol, and to replenish my stock of V. Thank you to Junior & Bob for the 2 free cans of V! Began walking from the northern end of Ashburton just before 9am. Jo Goodhew (Timaru MP and my host tomorrow night), who was driving up to Ashburton from Timaru, stopped and offered her encouragement. Did a further phone interview for Port FM. Continued along the long straights until we reached Hinds. Maragret & I stopped in at the Hinds tavern for lunch (Thanks to Jane & Geoff for the best packed lunch I think I have ever had!!). Thanks to Sue & Sue from the tavern for the donations and free drinks! Thank you also to Hinds Mechanical for the donation. got REALLY hot after lunch. I continued on after lunch, but my shins got pretty sore. I took a pain killer that the Dr. in Blenheim prescribed. Unfortunately, I didn't read that it makes you drowsy... I ended up sitting in the shade for half an hour, drinking my 2nd (free) can of V. I eventually arrived in Orari at 645pm (after a 9am start). We arrived at our hosts (Will, Linda, Dougal, Lucy Poulson) house just before 7pm. Linda's parents and her firend Kim were also there. We had a bbq and some drinks and spent the rest of the night talking.
Day 54:Arrived at Orari with Will, Linda, and Lucy. We were met by Jo and her husband Mark, and a few others. All 12 or so of us walked into Temuka (12km). We were meet by a photographer and journalist from a newspaper. Sarah Hitchings and her Mum, Andrea and Brother, Matthew, also joined us for a bit. Will and family left us in Temuka, and Andrea, Sarah, Matt and myself did a bit of a bucket collection around Temuka town. Thank you ver much to Andrea for the VERY geberous christmas present!! It is much appreciated, and will def. come in handy! Margaret and I stopped for Lunch in Temuka with Jo's parents. We had an awesome Bacon & Egg pie. Jo's youngest Daughter, Abbi was there also. After lunch, Abbi and I walked to Timaru. Along the way, we caught up with Logan (the awesome 9yr old I visited in chch hospital on Sunday), his Mum, aunty & Uncle. We all walked into Timaru together, and did a bucket collection. Logan did a fantastic job of walking with us the whole way!! We said goodbye to Logan and his family, (after stopping for drinks at Shell). Abbi & I continued on. We were joined by Abbi's dad, Mark, and older sister, Harriet. Once we finished for the day, we arrived at Mark & Jo's place. We have just had a really great Thai dinner. Tomorrow I will head off to Timaru Baptist and enjoy a rest day.
Only 10 more (walking days).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 52 - Dunsandel - Ashburton.

Bit of a later start this morning. The one way street system in Chch is a bit confusing, and I got pretty lost on my way to pick Margaret (my driver for the next few days) up from Halswater. Arrived in Dunsandel to begin walking at 10am. Great day for walking - a bit overcast, with a slight breeze. The road I am walking is entirley straight, and I haven't walked around a corner for the last 2 days, however it is not as boring as it sounds.There is also a pretty decent shoulder to walk on, with very little slope - as a result, my shins felt fantastic today, and the walk was almost completely pain free!!! My IPOD got pretty wet on Saturday, and has decided not to work at all, so a pretty boring day in that respect!!! I came across the Rakaia bridge today - the longest bridge in the southern hemisphere - it is illegal to walk along it, so I had the luxury of being driven (which can't be cheating!!!). Margaret and I stopped for lunch in Rakia, at a really nice cafe. The afternoon went really quickly, and I arrived in Ashburton before 5. We had a newspaper interview organised, so while we were waiting, Margaret and I cleaned out the van (after coming across magots on fri). After the newspaper interview, we drove to our accommodation for the night. I am really lucky to be staying with the Right family, and Margaret is staying next door with the Casey's. We have all just had a really awesome dinner, and after getting to bed late last night, I am just about to get to bed.Thank you very much to Jane, Geoff, Tom, and Hannah Right for hosting me tonight, and to the Casey's for hosting Margaret - It is really appreciated!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day 50 (Chch - Dunsandel) / Day 51 (Rest Day).

BlueBridge Ferry:I am excited to announce that Bluebridge ferry is now onboard and sponsoring the JUCY van, myself, and one other (Cam), across the cook staright - at the end of the walk. Thank you very much to Hamish, Kirk and staff for making this possible!!!
Day 50:The worst weather I have encountered on this trip!!! It rained the entire day... I met my friend Anna outside my hotel (Copthorne, Durham St) this morning, just before 9am. We both wandered over to the Cathedral Square (where I finished walking on Fri). Waiting for us was Nicky Wagner (National List MP), and one of her staff - Heather. Nicky & Heather deserve special mentions - turning up to walk for a few hours despite the miserable weather (and Nicky in corporate atire - in preperation for a conference after walking with me!!). It was really awesome to have Nicky & Heather along. We took the scenic route out of the city, and visited all the tourist spots along the way. We even stopped at the dyslexic gardens (bit of a personal highlight for me, being dyslexic). We eventually made it on to the road out of town, and Anna and I said goodbye to Nicky & Heather, and continued walking. Caroline (CF project manager and support driver for part of the day), joined us. Kate and her daughter, Jessie, took over driving duties just before lunch. We made it to Rollerston at 1pm and stopped for lunch. I had been looking forward to arriving in Rollerston (town of the future), as Chris Cairn's finished his walk there in September. After lunch the weather deterorated, but we continued on. Anna did a good job and walked all but the last 6 or 7km. I eventually made it to Dunsandel just before 530pm. We drove back to the city. I thawed out in the shower, then caught a taxi to the strip for dinner (table fo 1...again). Spent the rest of the night relaxing by myself in my hotel room.
Day 51 - Rest day:I was going to head along to church this morning with Anna, but the service time didn't fit in with my schedule for the day (and Anna was still pretty sore from the 40ish km she walked with me the rain!!). Kate (CEO CF association), and myself drove to Mona Vale, where we had lunch with Christchurch's mayor, Bob Parker, and his wife, Jo. I had a great time at lunch. Bob and Jo presented me with a bag full of gifts - a really nice greenstone pendant, sunscreen & lip balm, a few chch postcards, and a really nice book about the city (as well as a few other things). Bob gave me some really good advice on public speaking and dealing with media etc. We also discussed politics and international development, as well as CF and the walk. Thank you very much to Bob & Jo Parker, for the opportunity to meet, and have lunch with you both. It was much appreciated, and I enjoyed myself (Thanks also for the tips!!). After lunch I went to the hospital to spend some time with some of the CF kids in hospital and give them a few christmas chocolates. I met Logan and his Mum. Logan was great fun to hang out with. We played cricket in the hall way for about an hour (the staff didn't seem to mind us hitting balls all over the place - A set of wickets were even drawn on the doors in vivid!!!). I also spent some time with Sam and Uther - Awesome guys. For me, the most rewarding aspect of this trip is meeting people, and it was neat to be able to spend some time with the guys in hospital. Hopefully my visit was a good distraction for them. I said goodbye to the guys, as I was leaving, Logan gave me a thank you post card, and one of his toys - a really touching moment!! Logan lives in Timaru, so I have arranged to catch up with him when I walk through there (Christmas). As soon as I left hospital, Paul picked me up, and took me to church. Paul's sister, Amy and her husband Ben, are on the worship team at Arise church. Paul and I had front row seats reserved for us. It was the christmas production this afternoon, which was absolutely amazing!! After church, I arrived back at the hotel in time for dinner with Caroline, her partner Roger, and Margaret (WGTN CF chairperson, and my driver for the next few days - Paul has christmas off, and Sharon has finished the trip). It is now just before midnight, and I have a busy day again tomorrow - time for bed!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 48:

Bit of a late start this morning.... I drove out to Amberly from Hanmer Springs, and was almost there, when I realised I still had the key for the house in Hanmer!! I turned around and went back to Hanmer to hand it back, before heading off for Amberly...Again!!
I was really fortunate to get the opportunity to walk with Andrew (Really sorry about the late start, Andrew!!). Andrew walked the length of NZ just over a year ago, as a fundraiser for arthritis. It took him 100 days, and he finished in Bluff on his 23rd birthday. Andrew walked with me for about 2hrs. 10 minutes into the walk we were finishing each others sentences!!! It was really neat to talk with Andrew and exchange stories etc. It can be a bit tough talking to friends and family about the walk, cause it seems that they don't really undertand what it takes etc (through no fault of their own), but a lot of what Andrew experienced, I have too - so it was really neat getting to meet him. He was even able to give me an insight into what I could expect from here on in, and we have arranged to catch up on my way north at the conclusion of the walk.
I was also really lucky to meet Lisa. Lisa is planning to walk the length of the South Island, starting at the end of Jan. It was my opportunity to give her advice on what she could expect along the way. It was a good way for me to (self) reflect on the trip also. Lisa walked with me for about 20km. We all (Lisa, Sue, Caro, and myself) stopped for lunch in Woodend. I continued to walk into Chch, and arrived at the cathedral at 530pm. I was stopped by some guys, who I recognised from Hamilton!!! (They preformed the haka for me as I left pack'n'save Hamilton). We spent a bit of time chatting, before they each gave a substansial donation. Thanks Duane, Tapua, and Carl - Much appreciated!!
I am staying at the Millennium hotel for the next 3 nights which is pretty flash! Am at a BBQ with the CHCH CF community. Going really well. I am pushed for time now, as I have a big day tomorrow - will update blog with more detail the.
Also really stoked to have Bluebridge Ferry on board as a sponsor - more tomorrow!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 48.

Rest Day.

Spent last night in Hanmer Springs, and am there again tonight. I am really lucky to be staying in a 'Home away from home' house, used by CF families. It is quite cool spending a bit of time by myself, and in a really nice spot like Hanmer!! Thanks to the CF association for organisng this for me!!

Shins are still very sore, so thought I would go to the pool. After dinner, and on my way to the pool, I was stopped by a police officer as I was walking to my car. I saw the officer driving up and down the main road a few times while I was eating dinner. This is the first officer I have come across on the trip, who has not been supportive of my efforts and given me words of encouragement etc (not that I minded, I was glad I gave him something to do). He asked where I got the signs attached to my car from... He didn't believe me when I told him that Chris Cairns had given them to me after he finished his walk from Auck to Chch. He told me that I needed to take them off my car. When I asked him which law I was breaking, he said I hadn't broken any laws, but they needed to come off. His explanation was that a gust of wind may potentially remove the sign from the car, potentially fall in front of another vehicle, potentially cause an accident and potentially kill someone - and I would potentially be charged with manslaughter. I thought about what he said... I could be crossing the road to get to the dairy, to buy milk, and potentially get ht by a car.. this doesn't stop me from crossing the road. needless to say the signs are still on my van (transit safety requirement - not belligerence).

When I woke up this morning I did some washing and was outside hanging it on the line, when there was an earthquake. I could see the fence moving and then felt the ground shake. There were another few earthquakes throughout the morning. I then drove into Chch to catch up with a friend (Matt), and run some errands.

I'll head back to Hanmer later on this afternoon, and grab some dinner and go to the pools (and hopefully avoid seeing the same cop!!). I predict an early night, as I have a big day tomorrow - walking from Amberly to Chch, and then a CF BBQ in the evening. I am also expecting a few walkers to join me. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 47.

Good day walking today. Shins not as sore as they have been over the passed few days/weeks - (at least now they don't hurt when I breath!!). The weather is not typical south island weather... Overcast, wet, and windy for most of the day (good 'walking' weather). Came across a couple I met while walking in Foxton, they are travelling the south island at the moment. They pulled over and donated some more money which was good. Also had a few people wave and toot as I walked - good encouragement. I am spending the next 2 nights in Hanmer Springs. Am about to get some dinner and head to the hot pools. Paul & Sharon have gone ahead to Christchurch, so I am enjoying a few days by myself.
I am looking forward to arriving in Christchurch on Friday / Saturday, and catching up with friends. There is a BBQ on fri night with some of the members of the Chch CF community. I am also really excited about having lunch with Bob Parker (Chch's Mayor), on Sunday and walking with Nicky Wagner, and Aaron Gilmore (2 Chch MP's), on Saturday.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 46.

Pretty non-eventful day today. Day began with an interview / photo shoot with the Marlborough Express Newspaper. It started to rain quite heavily during the photo shoot, so ended up hanging out with Scott, the photographer, in the car for 10 or so minutes. Eventually we got the photos, and I began walking for the day.
The day was overcast with showers, but still quite muggy. The Marlborough scenery is awesome, and I passed plenty of vineyards!! We came across a police officer, who spent a bit of time chatting with Paul. I was initially concerned when I saw him pull up, but it turns out he and Paul had a good conversation, and the officer learnt a bit about CF (good job Paul).
The new shoes (kindly donated by Robin Mitchell, of Mitchell Sports Power, Blenheim), were fantastic. No trouble at all. Thanks once again to Mr. Mitchell and the staff for their generosity and expertise.
Arrived back at our hosts house. Wayne turned up with today's edition of the Marlborough Express - on the front page was a MASSIVE photo of me (jumping in the air to display my new shoes - unaware that my shirt had ridden up!!). Along with the photo was a really well written article (complete with fundraiseonline website), Thanks Claire. True to form, I don't take good photos (Sharon made the comment that I look 5 months pregnant...).
Also heard that there is an article about the walk in today's herald, and apparently something on 3 News recently??
Spent the afternoon R.I.C.E'ing my shins - No improvement, and VERY painful!!!
Thank you very much to the Young's - Wayne, Jo, Liam, Caleb, and Hannah - for hosting us (for a bit longer than expected!!). It was lovely to meet you all, and the dinner table discussions will be a lasting memory of this trip!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 45.

My first day walking again after a few days rest... I (almost) did everything the Dr. said, and the shins are feeling slightly better.
Wet day today - not typical Marlbrough weather - but it was good to walk in the rain. I enjoyed the walk today, as I have spent a bit of time in the Marlborough region, it was good to be on familiar roads....My Grandad walked (the whole way) with me today, and at 71, is the oldest walker I have had along the way. I was also joined by Paula. Paula heard my interview on Classic Hits (thursday) and decided to join me for the day also.
The highlight of my day was meeting Blair. Blair's wife recently passed away from CF. Blair walked with me for 10 or so minutes and we talked about CF, his wife, kids etc. Meeting Blair reminded me of why I began this walk, and encouraged me to continue. Over the last few days, lying in bed resting my shins and not doing too much else, I got a bit frustrated and (selfishly) thought about all the other things I could be doing, particulalry at this time of year. I had lost a bit of enthusiasim for the walk, and lost sight of the reason I was doing this. Thanks Blair, for reminding me why this walk is so important.
Another highlight was recieving a FREE pair of shoes!! ADIDAS have not come through with shoes, and I was without an alternative pair - The pair I brought in Hamilton have finally worn out, and I am now on to my third pair. A big thank you to Robin Mitchell, of Mitchell Sports in Blenheim, for your support.
Something I forgot to update last monday.......
Unfortunately, Kim (one of the physio students), decided that she wasn't enjoying the trip. She rang me on Monday night to tell me she had quit, and would not be meeting us at the ferry terminal early the next morning to begin the South Island leg of the trip. I was pretty annoyed at the late notice, as this also left us without a driver/crew member. I also have a thing about commitment (as the soccer team I coach knows!!), namely, if you commit to something, you see it through and give it your best... Luckily, I was able to arrange substitute drivers for the last few weeks of the trip. My parents & 3 Grandparents will join Paul & I from Timaru onwards. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful family who will drop everything to help out. I feel a bit sorry for Paul, as it has turned into a bit of a family roadtrip!!
Looking forward to walking again tomorrow - hopefully the shins hold up. I am also looking forward to spending my next rest day (thurs) in Hanmer Springs.
Off to ice my Shins..Emma.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 42.

Had morning tea with the Mayor of Blenheim this morning, followed by an interview on classic hits.

Have been told I can begin walking again on Monday - pretty frustrated.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day 36 - 41.

Friday:Was really fortunate to have my friend Ferg along for the walk today. He managed the whole distance - more than a marathon!!! We also managed to keep up a pretty good pace. Nathan Guy met us along the way, and we spent a few minutes taking photos and catching up. Thanks once again Nathan, for all your support! Most of the day was spent playing 'car cricket', and we had a really enjoyable time. Drove back to my parents place, where Paul and I are spending the next few nights.
Saturday:Early start this morning. My Dad walked with me for the whole day. Nat & Fi joined us from Otaki to Paekakariki. Hot day, but good fun walking with friends. We played 'car cricket', and various other games to pass the time. Stoped for lunch at Subway in Waikanae. Thank you to Ross, for the free sub vouchers, they will be put to good use! The afternoon passed quickly, and we finished in paekak just before 5pm. My Aunty joined us for the last few km. Arrived home, and was out to dinner at the roundabout pub in Tawa (one of my 'locals'). The Wellington CF community invited Paul, my parents, and myself out for dinner (Dad was too stif to make it!!). It was a great night, and I enjoyed meeting the members. Thank you to Lisa & staff for the donation. After dinner, myself and a few frineds went into town, to visit the Welsh Dragon Bar. Mike & Jo (owners) have been very supportive of me and my efforts, and have rasied quite a bit of money for the cause. It was great to visit them again, the free drinks were also a bonus!!!
Sunday:Went to my church this morning - Paul came with me. Was really nice to be back there, and to catch up with friends. After church I came home and helped Mum prepare food. We had a BBQ and invited a few friends and family around. Really neat to catch up with the people who have really supported me througthout the many months of planning, and walking!! Thanks to Mum, Celeste, and Fiona for organising it - much appreciated!!!
Monday:Today has by far been the best day of the trip so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I picked up my friend Steve in the morning, and we drove up to Paekakariki, to start todays walk. Mark Blumsky, former MP and Wellington Mayor, was there waiting for us. Mark had committed to walking this section of the trip many months ago, so I was really pleased to see that he had remembered and followed through. We began walking and talking. The morning went really quickly, and I appreciated walking familiar roads (the route I had done most of my training on). At 11:30, I arrived at my former high school - Tawa College. I was really shocked to see all of the students and teachers lining the driveway, clapping and cheering as I walked up. It was an awesome moment!! My parents and friends turned up and saw the whole thing - it was amazing! I arrived in the hall for the assembly. Steve had done a fantastic job of organising a slide show. Mr. Lucas the Principla introduced me, and I began my speech. It went well, up until the question & answer segment. One student asked where I slept. I basically said that The CF association contacted their members around the country, and I just sleep with them... The students started to laugh, and then I realised what I had said!!!! Atleast they were listening!!! I had to laugh, especially as L J HOOKER is a major sponsor!!Had lunch in the staff room, and left the school to start walking again. Was met by my OXFAM trailwalker team mates (Hannah, Mike, and Jane), Paul and Brian. Mark also continued walking.We had quite a following through Tawa, and even picked up a few people who didn't intend to walk with us (thanks Celeste & Jase!).L J Hooker Johnsonville did a fantastic job! We had 2 cars and Mr. Hooker bear follow us for about 7km. We also had a few of the staff at MWH walk with us.Final stretch in to Wellington was a bit tough. My shin began playing up. We eventually arrived at Parliament. I was really excited to see my parents, friends, and supporters waiting for me. Katrina Shnaks, an MP in my electorate, also turned up. It was really neat to see everyone, and to finish 1 island. We all headed over to the Backbencher Pub for dinner and Drinks. Thank you to Paddy and the staff at HVWS for shouting dinner. Thanks to Brian & Katrina, the people who met us at Parliament. Mark - you did well!! And finally Steve. Thank you for all the effort you put into arranging the assembly and slide show. It has been the most memorable part of the trip, and I had a great time. You are a star!!!
Tuesday:Caught the ferry across to Picton. I met a lovely staff member, Veronica, who asked me all about my trip, and even offred me free coffee. Arrived just before 12 and had an interview with the Marlborough Express newspaper. Met my Nana & Grandad in Picton. Grandad walked with me. I only lasted about an hour and a half. My shin has been playing up for the last week, and today it became so sore, I was nearly in tears. We decided it was a good idea to stop for the day, and get it checked out. I went to the Picton Dr.s surery, then on to A&E in Blenheim. Afterwards, I got some accupuncture, and went home to RICE my legs.
Wednesday:Unfortunately, my shin has not improved. I went to see a specialist sports Dr. this morning. He has told me to rest for a few days, continue to RICE, change my shoes, and gave me a prescription. I am gutted. I will talk with CFNZ today, and make a plan from there.... Hopefully, if I do all the right things, it will improve.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day 35.

I was really fortunate to get an invite to the Mayor's Christmas Party, in Palmerston North last night. I wasn't expecting it to be as big as it was, there must have been at least 350 people (a bit more than the 20-ish I imagined!!). I was introduced by the mayor, and spoke a little about the walk and CF. I was caught a bit off guard, as I didn't know I was required to speak!!!
We did a bit of a bucket collection, and pulled in just under $500. Thank you very much, Mayor Naylor, for the invite. I had a wonderful time, and am really pleased I had the opportunity to meet you, your wife, other city councilors. and guests.

I then drove to Levin and got some dinner. Nathan Guy, MP for Otaki, very kindly organised accommodation for myself and Paul, during our time in Levin. Nathan turned up with ice cream sundaes, and hung out with us for a while. Thanks once again, Nathan, for all your support - It is much appreciated!!!

I began walking this morning just before 9. I was really lucky to have my friend Ferg drive up from Wellington, to join me. We set a very good pace, and managed to maintain that for most of the day. We had a great time playing 'car cricket'. Ferg gets a special mention, as he walked with me the whole day!! Good effort.

Early start tomorrow. I have a dinner in Wellington to be at, and turning up late is not a good look. My Dad and some friends are joining me tomorrow, which will be good.

It is really great to be back in Wellington, and at home with my family!! Busy few days ahead...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 31, 32, 33, 34.

Day 31:
Early start this morning with a visit to the Central FM station for a radio interview. Really good interview, spoke for aprox. 10min. Thank you to Simon for the interview, and Craig and Susanna for organising it.
Next, it was off to the Waipawa clock tower to begin the walk. I was met by Sue, Possum, and Jack (Possum's dad). Had a newspaper interview there (Sorry Susanna, for insisting you join us in the photo!!). Sue & I walked through Waipawa and collected a bit of $$. We continued on to Waipuk, and collected EVEN MORE!!!! Thank you very much to Sue, for all your help over the last few days!! I really appreciated your help, and all the money you single-handedly raised (in excess of $500). Thank you also for plying me with lollies! Finished the day in Norsewood. Traveled through to Danneverk where we spent the night.

Day 32:
Late start this morning (I needed a bit of a sleep in). Walked through Danneverk, Bill & I did a bit of a bucket collection through the town. Continued on to Woodville. VERY windy day, and was a real struggle walking into the wind. On the positive side, it did remind me of home (Wgtn). Caroline (CF 'project manager') flew up for the day and joined us. Spent the night in Palmerston North, at the Kingsgate Hotel. Enjoyed a very nice dinner in the restaurant, and returned to my room to watch HOUSE.

530am start this morning. Had breakfast at the hotel. Caroline & I drove out to Woodville, where I was to start my walk for the day. The Army was supposed to meet me there, and walk through the Manawatu gorge with me (on the bush track). Unfortunately, this fell through. I was pretty disappointed, as I was really looking forward to it. As a result, I wasn't able to walk the bush track (unsafe by myself). I had to begin my walk at the other end of the gorge. I was really excited to have my friend Bianca (and her friend Susie) join me for half an hour. I made it into Palmerston North in good time, and was met by Angela and her daughter Maddie. Angela & Maddie walked into the 'Square' with me, where I was met by my friend Mandy and a few others. The 6 of us did a bucket collection around the streets. Unfortunately, this bucket collection was probably the least successful, and a lot of people were quite rude. Thanks to Maddie, Angela, Darren, Mandy & co. for helping with the bucket collection. It was great to meet you all!! I continued on walking, and finished around 530. I decided to drive back to Wellington, and spent the night at home.

Day 34 - Rest Day:
Went and got some acupuncture this morning, and caught up with a friend of mine (thanks for the coffee Graeme!!). About to drive back up to Palmy. Am catching up with Bianca, Andrew, and Jax before heading into a Christmas party for the staff of the Palmerston North City Council. Paul & I are staying in Levin tonight, as we have an early start tomorrow (just outside of Himitangi).
Thank you very much to Nathan Guy, MP for Otaki, for arranging our accommodation for tonight!!
Tomorrow I am walking from Bainesse to Kuku, and am really looking forward to having my friend Ferg walk with me.
Saturday, is Kuku to Paekakariki. My Dad has said he will walk that section, as will another friend, Nat.

Apologies for the lack of updates over recent days - Internet access has been hard to find!! I am stying with my parents fri - Mon, so will be on the ball re: updates.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 30 - Rest Day.

I am in the best mood ever! I had a really good day today, and have just recieved a few exciting emails which will benefit the walk - will elaborate on these later!!! Woke up and watched a replay of the rugby with Craig. It was really sad to say goodbye to the Foss family, and I am still gutted. Thanks for being such wonderful hosts. I really enjoyed my time with you, and am stoked to have sampled the best steak ever cooked (well done Craig!!). I spent the day by myself, spending most of it in Hastings. I treated myself to brunch and read the paper. I even checked out a few of the sights (Te Mata Peak, Cape Kidnappers). On my way to Waipukarau, I picked up some fresh fruit from a few of the orchards. I arrived at my accommodation for the night. The Clark's cooked a fantastic roast pork, and we had a few afternoon drinks in the sun.I have a radio interview tomorrow at 730am. Thanks to Craig and Susana Clark for organising that! I am also meeting up with Sue (from Saturday...), who will walk a bit of the distance. I am sad to be leaving the Hawke's Bay, but on the same token, am really excited to be arriving in Wellington this week. The trip is going SO quickly, I can't beleive I am up to day 30 already - only 40 more to go!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

DAY 28 / 29 (Eskdale - Hastings, Hastings - Waipawa).

DAY 28 - Eskdale - Waipawa:Left Eskdale at 8am this morning. I was really lucky to have Chris Tremain, MP for Napier, walk with me for the first 3 hours. We covered just over 20km. It was really awesome to have Chris along for the morning - he did a fantasic job of keeping up!!! As soon as Chris left me, I had about 10 boys from Hereworth School join me. These guys were great to walk with and I had a good time chatting to them and their teacher, Sam. Thanks to Duncan, (Duncan's Dad) John, and Sam for orgaising the guys. I was really impressed by the boys, they were confident, polite and were a great advertisement for their school (flip! I sound like a senior citizen!!). I continued towards Hastings, and was met by Murray from LJ Hooker. I stopped at the Hastings show grounds for lunch. Craig Foss, MP for Tukituki, Kevin (a city councilor), Murray, John, and his wife Janet, all met me there. We did a bit of a bucket collection through the streets (Paul dressed in the LJ hooker bear suit, and attracted tonnes of kids!!). We finished off in Craig's office. Thanks to Craig for buying me a juice - I really needed it!! Paul and I fiished the day off with the best steak we have ever eaten, and a couple of beers with Craig, and his wife Krystal, sitting / talking by their outdoor fireplace. Fantastic day.
DAY 29 - Hastings - Waipawa.
Started at 8am in the middle of Hastings. I was joined by Kirsty & Sophie for the first hour. It was great chatting with them. They even gave me a really cool t-shirt!! (Kirsty has one exactly the same!). It was a really hot day today, and once again I am losing the battle with sun burn. My Ipod also decided to stop working, so it was a pretty tough day all round. Sue and her husband Brian met us not far from Otane, and did a fantastic job of collecting money along the way. I was really lucky to get a bag of goodies, that Sue & Brian had prepared - (things to remind me of the central Hawke's Bay (and some lollies!)). A big thank you, also, to the family who pulled over and donated $10 - much appreciated. Sue walked the final 15(ish) km with me, which was a welcome relief. I met an awesome guy called Possum (real name Andrew). Possum is from the HB and has CF. There is a really good article about him in the lateset edition of New Idea(??). Possum is such a nice guy, and I hope to catch up with him again on Monday. I also had the opportunity to meet Rachel & Sarah from Iona College. They walked with Sue and I for about half an hour. Iona College was very generous and presented me with a cheque for $500. Thank you to the staff (particularly Carmel) and studens at Iona - your support is much appreciated. Sue & I finished up in Waipawa and was met by Deputy Mayor, Michael Waite, and Possum's dad, Jack. The 4 of us had our photo taken outside the iconic Waipawa clock tower / war memorial. Then it was time to head back home. Paul and I once again had a few drinks, and one of the best meals I have ever had.
I am really looking forward to a rest tomorrow.
Monday I am walking Waipawa to Norsewood, leaving the Waipawa clock tower at 8am (Sue has promised to meet me!!).
I want to finish this update by thanking the Tremain and Foss families (Chris, Ange, Sam, Will, and Lily Tremain), & (Craig, Krystal, Sophie, and Laura Foss). Both famalies have been exceptional hosts during our time in the Hawke's Bay, and without their support, visiting this side of the country would not have been possible. Words can not adequetly express my gratitude and appreciation - Thank You.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day 26 - Rest day.

Tried to sleep in this morning, but I am so used to pre-6am starts, that I woke up early anyway!!
Pretty relaxed day. Had a phone interview for More FM. Got a hair cut (Thanks to Anna, the hairdresser, for the donation!!). I also got the opportunity to meet up with a friend of mine for coffee. It started to rain this afternoon, something I didn't think possible in HB!!!
Chris and Ange did a fantastic job of hosting a BBQ at their place tonight. A few of the members of the CF community in the Hawke's Bay came around. It was a really fantastic night, and I had the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people, and learn more about CF, and its effects.
A HUGE thanks to Chris & Ange, not only for the BBQ, but also for all the support you have given me over the last few months... Without your involvement, I don't think I would have bothered coming to the HB.
8am start tomorrow from Eskdale to Hastings. Chris has said he will walk the first 3 hours with me tomorrow, which I am really excited about!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 26 - Eskdale.

Late start this morning, bit of a late night...
I really enjoyed today's walk. The last part of the Napier-Taupo road is very pretty (a few climbs along the way, but I like a challenge!!). It was a hot day again today, little bit of wind (which was good).
Had a phone interview for MORE FM (Hawke's Bay) this morning. Apparently I have interviews with them again tomorrow and Friday. Also had an interview for the 'Hawke's Bay Today' newspaper. Really looking forward to seeing that article, Glen, the photographer was such a nice guy!
Paul and I are staying in Eskdale tonight with Chris, Ange, Sam, Will, and Lily. We just had a really fantastic dinner, and Paul is sampling some of HB's finest wine.
Rest day tomorrow. I am looking forward to having a bit of a sleep in and checking out Napier & Hastings. Chris and Ange are also hosting a BBQ at their place which will no doubt be great fun!!
Not too much else to report. Having a great time, and the body is holding up well. Just need to try and fit in some sleep!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 25

Early start, early finish today. Started walking just after 830am, and finished at 3pm. Over 700km walked thus far!!!
Kim & Sharon are in the Hawkes Bay at the moment, so I did my own strapping this morning. Not pretty, but very effective. I am rather pleased with myself! Another (almost) pain free day today.
I really enjoyed walking the Napier-Taupo road, such diverse landscape. A few people had told me how difficult this road would be, with hills etc, and how dangerous it could be. I am glad I walked it. It is one of the only roads I haven't travelled in NZ, and am glad I had the opportunity.
It rained for the first half hour, and was HOT and sunny for the rest of the day. I was also really fortunate to have a strong tail wind!!!
I was suprised to see Pete & Helen pull up on the side of the road at about 930am this morning. They were on their way back to Wellington, and decided to take the long way (through Napier). It was really neat to catch up with them again today. I have really enjoyed spending time with them over the last 4 days.
As I was walking (N/T road) I was able to collect $30 in donations. Thanks to the nice guy in the black ute, and the women in the 4xD who generously gave me $$.
There were road works along a large section of the N/T road. These 'disruptions' were appreciated, as it slowed the traffic, and made the walk a bit more interesting (things to look at etc). I was really suprised to come across Michael Murphy (NZ Idol Runner Up). I went to school with Michael, and it was good to see him again, but I didn't expect to catch up with him in the middle of no where, as he was working on the roads!
The guys working on the roads were a laugh. I wore my bright orange reflective rain jacket, because I cant find my more appropriate fluro vest!! - (I am required to wear reflective clothing on this stretch of road). They kept asking if I would like to work with them, and how I would fit right in, and a few more less appropriate comments (It was funny at the time, I guess you had to be there...).
I am really looking forward to arriving in Napier tomorrow. I will be sad to leave Taupo, but I have had a great time here, and it has been awesome staying with my Grandma (particularly as she has promised to let me watch HOUSE tonight).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 24.

Feeling 100% toady!!Started my day off with a tin of creamed rice, and two radio interviews (Classic Hits & Newstalk ZB). On my way to the station, I was pulled over by a police car. I wasn't speeding (this time), or doing anything else unlawful, and wondered why I had been pulled over. The officer came over and asked what I was doing - whether I was walking... (My JUCY van has a massive orange 'Walkers Ahead' sign on the back, and an even bigger LJ Hooker 'Emma Daken - Walking NZ' sign on the front). All I could do was look at him in disbelief - yes. I am still not entirely sure why I was stopped. Nevertheless, an interseting start to my day.
Radio interviews went well.
Next it was off to the primary school I attended, Hilltop Primary. I was lucky enough to have a guided tour of the school, by its principal, Dave Hughes. Hilltop has changed quite a bit since I was last there (nearly 10 yrs ago!!!). Some of the staff who taught me are still there, quite funny to see how they have changed.
A special assembly had been organised. There were at least 550 people in the assembly - my biggest audience yet!! I spoke about my walk, and CF, and answered a tonne of questions from the students. I was impressed by the quality of question - very well thought out, and it helped guide me to talk about the things they were most interested in.
A big thank you to Dave Hughes, staff, and students of Hilltop Primary. Thanks for the very kind donation, and allowing me the opportunity to talk at your assembly!!
When I finally got around to walking, I was lucky enough to have my friends Helen & Peter join me. Pete walked the first 7 or so km through town, and Helen would drive ahead and meet us. It has been really great to have them along! They even helped out with a bucket collection through town.
I made it out on to the Napier-Taupo road. Good day. VERY wet. I wasn't too sore today, and my shin seems to be sorting itself out.
Raised just over $12,000 thus far!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 22 & 23 (Golden Springs - Taupo / Rest Day).

Day 22:Started the day off a bit later than anticipated. We decided to spend a bit of time with Liz & Ross (Paul's parents), at their cafe (Relish) in Rotorua. I was pleased to spend a bit of time with them, and I am missing them already! Pretty slow day on the walking front. My left shin is playing up, and is really quite sore. I was really lucky to have my Mum & Dad drive up from Wellington to meet me. Dad even walked the last 31km with me (legend)!!!! I really enjoyed yesterdays walk (despite being sore), as I was walking familiar roads, and eventually arrived in Taupo.I was really lucky to have Murray and Denise Fleming join me for the last 7km. Their son Aaron, has raised a bit of money for CF over the years by doing Ironman and various other things. He has been a bit of an inspiration to me, so was good to meet his folks. Finished the day off with a spa and some thai take-aways with my Mum, Dad, and Grandma.
Day 23:'Rest' day today. Went to Taupo Baptist this morning (9am service!!!). Friends of mine from Wellington, Helen & Peter, are up in Taupo for the weekend also. They came along to church with me. Then the 3 of us met up with my parents and Grandma for a coffee.
The highlight of my day has been the jet boat ride on the 'Rapids Jet' in Taupo. Dad came along and we both had a great time (despite getting a bit wet). A BIG THANK YOU to James Tazewll, Martin Tazewell, our driver Rusty, and Sam. It was an awesoem experience, and well worth doing. Thank you for the opportunity!!! I will try to put a few pics up in due course.
I am off to get some lunch and go home to catch up on reading the paper.
I have a newspaper interview this afternoon. I will also be on Newstalk ZB tomorrow morning at 815am. Next, I am off to Hilltop School (The primary school I went to). I will be speaking at a special assembly and having a bit if a tour (I am sure it has changed since I first started...15yrs ago!!!).
Tomorrow I walk the Napier-Taupo road - hopefully the shin doesn't play up to much!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 21 - rotorua - Golden Springs.

I am feeling 100% and am really enjoying myself. We have raised over $11,500 thus far, and I have walked just short of 700km (as of this afternoon). I also believe we are successfully raising awareness of CF (although this is hard to measure). The trip is going so fast, and we are nearly 1/3 through!! (I am already making plans for my next big fundraiser - hopefully Mum & Dad don't read this update!!).
Paul & I had an interview at the More FM studio this morning. The interview went really well, and is probably the most enjoyable thus far, lots of laughs, however, we still managed to promote the cause quite well.
We then went in to town to meet the crew from LJ Hooker. There was a huge turn out, with what looked like the entire office out to support us! Thanks to Malcom and the team, it was a successful morning, with plenty of donations (Thank you to everyone who donated - much appreciated!!).
A warm day here - I am not winning the battle against sun burn (I am, however, acquiring a pretty awesome tan).
I began walking at about 11am. It is great to be on familiar roads, and I am really looking forward to walking in to Taupo tomorrow.Thanks to all the motorists who toot and wave as they drive past - great encouragement (thanks also for giving me plenty of room to walk!!).
Paul joined me for about 2hrs today, which was good fun (he gets frustrated at not being able to keep up - which motivates me to walk faster). I also got a chance to read the article Paul & I were interviewd for (yesterday). Good article, Paul looks great, it is a pitty I don't take good photos!!
Finally, Thanks to Ross & Liz (Paul's parents), Lisa & Ross (Paul's brother & sister). It has been great staying with you for the past 3 nights. I have really enjoyed myself (I know the crew has too)!
On to Taupo tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 20 - Rest day.

Early start again today. Had a radio interview on Classic Hits (Rotorua). Then it was off to a Mayoral reception, with Rotorua's Mayor, Kevin Winter. I really enjoyed myself and alot of effort was put into organising this event. Thank you to all involved!!! I was then interviewed for two Rotorua newspapers. I have also been asked for interviews with a few Taupo newspapers / radio stations, when I walk into Taupo on Saturday. I went out for lunch with Paul's Mum, Liz, at their cafe (Relish) Lunch was awesome, and it was great to meet the staff (Rob & Rex did a great job!). Then it was off to the Polynesian Spas for a soak.Tomorrow I begin walking at 8am from Ngongataha. LJ Hooker is helping to collect donations as I walk through Rotorua. People are most welcome to join me in walking through the streets. I will arrive at the Novatel hotel at 930am, and we will go from there...Going out for dinner with the crew and Paul's family tonight. Liz has promised we will be home in time for Coronation Street. Hopefully I can get to bed reasonably early tonight (before Midnight!!!!).
Thanks for all the messages / texts of support - they are greatly appreciated.

Day 18/19 - Hamilton - Rotorua.

Sorry about the lack of an update yestaerday!! I went to bed after HOUSE - I was so tired, I couldn't bring myself to begin reading/replying to emails, updating blogs etc.
DAY 18: Yesterday started off really well. I had a group of 15 or so (??) meet me at pack 'n' save (Hamilton). Vanecia did a fantastic job of organising everything. Thank you to the guys who preformed the haka - it was very moving. It was also really cool to meet Vanecia's husband and son!! Unfortunately, David Bennet (Hamilton East MP) was unable to join us, however, Mary-Anne (I hope I spelt that right??!), David's EA, joined us for part of the way. Was great to have you along - Thanks David and Mary-Anne. I can't express how greatful I am to everyone who walked with me through Hamiton. It was really good to have the support, and it was great getting to know you all. Thanks guys!!
As I made my way out of hamilton, a guy going for a run stopped and asked me what I was up to. I told him and he began walking with me. Brian was awesome, and walked with me for at least 40km!!! It was nice to have someone to talk to, and we discussed everything under the sun. We even devised a scale of rating road kill, based on stench, coverage etc - I promised to perfect this scale throughout my walk.. Brian was a God-send, as I was really dreading yesterdays walk (as it was a long way, and I was exhausted!). If you are reading this Brian, Thanks!! Good luck for the 100km race in Feb - I might see you there!
I met Damien on Sunday night when I spoke at the chapel service at St. Pauls. Damien also joined me for the last 15km / 2hrs. It was awesome getting to know him better. He has an awesome sense of humor! Thanks for walking with me, D - It was great encouragement!!
Finished the day of with Subway for dinner and hanging out with Keeg's (I was on babysitting duty!!). I also got to watch Coro St, and HOUSE!!
Thanks Claudette, Keith, and Keeg's - Great to stay with you, I am missing you all already!! (see you in Jan).
DAY 19: Day started off with breakfast at Bev's Delight cafe in Putararu. Thanks very much for breakfast and packed lunch - I especially liked the B&E pie!
I was also recognised at the Tirau information centre. Thank you to Gemma who gave me a free Powerade.
Next, I met Mal & Ngaire. They had travelled over from Tauranga, hoping to see me along the way. They kindly donated some money, and Ngaire even walked with me for half an hour! Great to meet you both.
Tonight we are staying with Paul's parents in Rotorua. We had a fantastic BBQ and I am looking forward to getting to sleep - soon, hopefully!
Tomorrow I have a radio interview, mayoral morning tea (which I am really looking forward to), and a newspaper interview. Being in Rotorua, I think it is highly likely I will have a spa - unless these ones are broken too!!
Really looking forward to arriving in Taupo on Saturday!
Thanks for all the support. Over 650km walked so far, and $10,500 raised!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 18 - Huntly - Hamilton.

Quick 32km walk this morning from Huntly to Hamilton. It rained (poured!!) The entire time. Was quite nice to walk along the Waikato river for a lot of the walk.
I was interviewd for a Waikato newspaper this morning. The highlight was having my photo taken. The photographer asked me to smile while I was walking ('cause everyone has a cheesy grin when they are walking in the rain, with stiff muscles, and blistered feet...). I felt like an idiot, and am not looking forward to reading the article. My vanity aside, if it brings in donations, I can deal with the humiliation and discomfort...
Tomorrow I will head into the 'Tainui' Radio Station and do an interview before I begin my 50km+ walk through the streets of Hamilton and Cambridge, to south of Karipero.
(People are welcome to join me walking through the Hamilton city centre. We are meeting at Pack 'n' Save, Mill st, at 9am).
I decided that it would be quite good to have a spa. I went to the local pool and was told that the spa was broken (Just my luck, broken/non-existient spas seem to be a theme on this trip!!!). I decided to drive 40km to the nearest pool. It was in the middle of no where (with no cell reception), around narrow, winding roads. I got to the place, and was charged $30 and told I could only use the 'spa' for 30 minutes!!! It was not worth it, but I had come all that way, and was to tired to bargin... They saw me coming!!!
Hopefully I will become a little more 'spa savy' throughout the remainder of this trip.
Had a great night with our hosts at St. Pauls. Played board games with Keegan, and had pizza with Keith & Claudette. I have had a great time staying here, and our hosts have been absolutley amazing!!!
Big day tomorrow - off to bed in the next few hours!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 16 - Rest Day.

I enjoyed a bit of a sleep in this morning, which is hard to do with all the 530am starts I have been enduring!!
Was able to get along to Hamilton Central Baptist church this morning. Great to get to a church - awesome service.
Next it was off to get accupuncture for my recent quad strain. Thanks very much to Lisa Hansen, who donated her time and equiptment to sort me out (coming in on a Sunday, and after completeing a fun run!!!). Turns out a reoccurring back injury is the cause of my quad discomfort - will be exciting to see how this all plays out down the track...
Brought a new pair of running shoes today also, as I wore my first pair out (completely!!!) on Saturday.
I have just returned from speaking at a school chapel service. It was a great little service, and I was asked to talk on the topic of determination and how determination has shaped my walk. Hopefully I did ok. I am noticing that the groups I am asked to address increase in size each time!
I was also invited to meet and have coffee with the school staff and members of the Waikato CF community. It was a really neat occassion, and I met some truley wonderful and generous people.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank St. Paul's Collegiate and its staff (Particulalry Keith & Claudette, Margaret, Andrew, Greg, and Trevor), and everyone else who has made it possible for the crew and myself to stay on-site. Thanks very much, it has been (particularly) awesome not having to cook for ourselves!!!
(My apologies if my blog updates are becoming increasingly incoherent - busy days and late nights!).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 15 - Meremere (ish) - Huntly.

Today was a bit tough! Very hot in the Waikato (Nations highest temp on 23 degrees). I got a bit burnt, despite applying sunscreen hourly!!Was a good road to walk on. Followed the Waikato exspressway, which had a cycle lane etc. Nice big shoulder, and flat road.
Unfortunately, I have worn out my first pair of shoes - right through! My feet are quite sore as a result, but I am sure this will not be a problem long term. I am off to buy another pair tomorrow, as my ADIDAS shoes are off to be exchanged for a bigger size.
We are staying in Hamilton tonight, at St Pauls Collegiate boarding school. Tomorrow is a rest day. I hope to get along to a church in the morning, then I am collecting donations at a fun run. I am also going to get some accupuntcure on my right quad (as it has been playing up a bit over the last few days). I will try and catch up with a friend while I am here, before having an afternoon tea with the Hamilton CF community, and others. Finally, I have been asked to talk at a chapel service tomorrow night (at St. Pauls) - the topic is determination.
Tuesday: I will be meeting at Pack 'n' Save (Mill st, Hamilton), at 9am. A group of us will walk through the streets of Hamilton (on my way to Cambridge and Karipero). All welcome to join us.

Day 14

Pretty uneventful day really.I walked from Papakura to south of Meremere. I am slightly ahead of schedule, and am planning to walk 50km tomorrow, and 18km on Monday (having the afternoon off).The film crew spent their last day with me. It was really hot and still today.Highlight was walking past a sign which said I was now in the Waikato District (Good to be home).We are spending the night in Papakura again. Hamilton for the next 4 nights.Saw my interview on Shine TV (Tonight, 630pm, ch 111), was realitivly happy with it . Nothing else to report really.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 13.

Just like a Tui billboard: "Rest day today... Yeah Right".

I started my day off with a trip to Ramarama School, where I spoke to the school about my walk; what I am doing, why I am doing it, and what CF is etc. It was an interesting assignment... addressing a range of children, aged between 5 and 12!! I think I did ok... I was particularly stoked to have one girl come up to me after the assembly, to thank me very much. She was quite nervous, and it obviously took a lot of courage - which I really appreciated.

Next it was off to have morning tea with John Banks (Auckland's Mayor). I took my uncle Tony with me, as he has done a great job helping me plan the route from Papakura to Hamilton, and helped me in so many other ways!!! (I am staying with him and his family at the moment). Jane (CF Auckland Chairperson) and her son Angus also came, as did Helen (also involved in CF). The film crew were there too. A really good spread was put on (Highlight was when young Angus ate a cream puff soaked in brandy - his expression was priceless!!).

I went off to have lunch with my friends, Elmo & Becci - both of whom are radio presenters on LIFE FM. Becci kindly organised (without telling me!!) for me to do a radio interview with Frank & Di in the afternoon. I was also interviewed for the tv show 'NZONE' (Shine TV, Sky ch 111, 7pm tomorrow night). I had a lot of fun with Scott and Allan, and learnt a lot about tv and radio production. Two tv appearances in 2 days!!!

Next, it was off to catch up with another friend, Greg. It took a lot of effort navigating the Auckland roads!! It was worth it, as it was really great to catch up with him again.

We have just had dinner, and I am not too far off from heading to bed! My cousin, Nathan, cooked dinner & dessert tonight - 5 star!!!

Tomorrow I will start walking from Papakura (outside BP - Great South Road, at 8am).


Day 12


I am really quite tired tonight!! I have had early starts and late nights for the majority of the trip - I think it is catching up with me now!!

Day 2 of film crew following my every move... I think it is going ok. A bit strange having them around, but all good fun.

I had my 30 seconds of fame on Breakfast tv this morning. I hope I did ok. It was very stressful getting to the location, and I was stuck in the Auckland traffic for 50 minutes - I really didn't think I would make it!!! Afterwards, I got recognised a few times along Queen Street.

Walked from Auckland CBD to Papakura today. It was an interesting walk, as it was all along footpath (along Great South Road).
Was a good walk, walking on footpaths is a lot more pleasant.

I had Amanda and her 4yr old son, Elliott, walk with me today (Elliott was pushed in a stroller!!). Amanda set a really good pace, and we ended up walking together for about 1 and a half hours.

I also spent a bit of time with the Crew from LJ Hookers (Manuwera). Dylan, Allan (Manukau), and the crew did a really good job. We also had the help of Sally, a Manuwera 'Ambassador', for most of the afternoon. Dylan and the team put on a BBQ, and raised quite a bit of money. Thanks guys.

I am staying with family tonight and tomorrow, so that is really great. I also caught up with some family this afternoon. My aunty even brought me my own strawberries!! (as per rant on day 2, about team getting strawberries and rocky road!!).

Tomorrow (Rest day), I am talking at Ramarama School's assembly, having morning tea with Auckland's mayor (John Banks), Meeting some friends for lunch, and catching up with another friend in the afternoon - I am tired just thinking about it!!

Thanks for all your support!!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Now in Auckland - 'Breakfast' (CH 1 - 745am), Wed 12 NOV (LIVE).

From memory, the last update was Sunday, my rest day.
I have been getting donations on my Fundraiseonline site, from all over the world. I also know that I have people in France, England, Chile, the Netherlands, The USA and possibly even Dubai following my blog updates - who knows where else in the world this is getting attention.
Monday started off on the wrong foot (pun intended), with a couple of group arguments. Things are still pretty tense, but I am learning a lot about different personality types, and what it means to work in a team. I am sure that these 'teething problems' will sort themselves out in due course, and that we will get back on track (pun - I am up too late to be taking this seriously!) I also beleive that I will be a better person at the end of this trip, through experiences such as these, and I am using every circumstance as an opportunity to learn.
Monday was a big day in terms of events. Julie (Push Play Neighbourhoods, in the Rodney District), did an awesome job. I had the priviledge of attending a Porwhiri/Haka, in Te Hana. This gave me a chance to brush up on my (lack of) public speaking skills, when I was asked to address the elders/group as part of the ceremony. I really enjoyed this experience, and it is def. a highlight of the trip so far! The guys were all really nice, and the community development work they are involved in is a great cause.Next, Julie and I walked through Welsford together.I then walked to Warkworth (it is worth a walk to warkworth - something I came up with during my many hours of walking!). In Warkworth, the community quilting group presented me with 3 hand stiched quilts - on for my friend with CF, on for another person with CF, and one for me. I finished of by walking 8.5km south of Warkworth. I then arrived back in Warkworth, to meet with people at LJ Hookers. We did a bucket collection around the streets, and got some photos with Mr. Hooker Bear. Thank you to Rod and the staff for all their help! I also had an interview with the 'Rodney times', and some radio station.Julie (Such a star!!) organised for me to have a spa - my first of the trip -so I drove off in to an isolated little town up the coast, and put my feet up. It was a little unnerving - sitting in a random spa, with random people I have never met, in an isolated area of a place I am not familar with - sounds like an intro to a horror movie. Thanks for the spa, Margaret, Kathryn, and Antionette.We stayed at sandspit. The accommodation was VERY basic, and we shared our room with half a dozen spiders and other insects - I would regard my night there as 'character building'.
Today, started off a little later than usual - I slept in. I am finding myself staying up later and later each night trying to arrange things, update my blog, and answer emails... I think I need to employ someone to give me a hand!!!We made it into Northcote, eventually (after getting lost, and me walking an additional 6 or so km!!). Caught the ferry across to the city and back. Paul and I then went to a really flash hotel in Takapun to have a spa and use the gym. Thanks to Julie for organising my 2nd spa of the trip, and the chance to hang out with wealthy people!!I also had Rebekah walk with me for an hour or so today. It was great to have the company - cheers, Rebekah.
Tomorrow I will be up bright and early, to appear on 'Breakfast', at 745am (CH 1).
Hopefully I will get a chance to update things a bit more frequently, now that I have walked in to Auckland!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

9/11/2008 Dinner in KeriKeri on Thursday night went really well!! Over $4,000 was raised! We were picked up and dropped off at the Landing. I was a bit shocked to find the car park FULL, with people spread around the grounds - a professional photographer was even there waiting for us to arrive!!! The whole place had been booked out for the dinner, so everyone there was there to support CF. A buffet dinner was served (I still wasn't eating too much at that stage), and a band donated their time to entertain throughout the night. They were a cool 60's/70's band, and a number of the guests dressed appropriatley! I must admit, I felt VERY young when the band began, and people started dancing - I haven't seen (dance) moves like that since I last saw an Austin Powers movies.
CF Northland did a really awesome job of putting that all together! Thanks Sarah, Jane, Mike and everyone else involved!!!!

Friday, I was woken at 5am (annoying as I had set my alarm at 530!!), by Kim. Sharon was sick!!!! Looks like the virus is doing the rounds (Kim has since become sick too - Just waiting on Paul to succumb now!!).
Sharon spent the day in bed, Paul stayed with her, while Kim and I began our day.
I was really lucky to have a group of 5 walkers join me for a few km early on (Hi Stan & Maisey!!).
Also, a woman stopped her car, and ran over to meet me. She very kindly handed me a cheque, and said that she had hoped to see me during my walk. Her daughter in law has CF, and has been keeping her updated on my progress. It was a great boost.

As I approached Whangarei, Mike and the team from LJ Hooker joined me, and helped with a bucket collection. We raised quite a bit of cash, however, the comapny was the best part!! Mike and Jacinda continued walking the last 20km with me.
We (Kim and myself - Sharon & Paul were still back at Haruru Falls!) spent the night at Mike's house in Kamo. I was really pleased to see Kamo, and see where (former All Black) Ian Jones grew up - Mike even pointed out the street where he lived (Jealous Dad?!).

Saturday (Election day), Kim and I began at 740am. Sharon & Paul joined us later. We walked until we came across a polling station. The crew cast their votes (I voted before I came away), and we were off again.
Sam Warriner (NZ Triathlete), joined me for about half an hour, as did Mike and his 5yr old daughter Gemma. Gem did a great job, and even lead me some of the way!!
Kim got sick later that afternoon, so Paul and I continued, while Kim and Sharon went to our nights accommodation.
I climbed the Brynderwyn Hill, and made it home in time to watch the election coverage.

Rest day today. I have been working on my book, and reading the paper.

Big day tomorrow. Lots organised, a few walkers to join me, and a presentation of a quilt!!

I will try to update again tomorrow!

I have also just recieved an email from a CF family in Jacksonville, Florida. I now have people in 2 American States (Utha & Florida), Chille, and the Netherlands following my progress.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 6

Feeling heaps better today. Am really looking forward to walking tomorrow!! It is a 50+ km walk which will take me south of Whangarei (sorry about my spelling dad!!).
Tonight I have a (buffet) dinner & dance in Kerekere. I have really been looking forward to it. All the tickets have sold out, and it sounds like it will be a huge success. Most of the people I have met and stayed with thus far will be there, as will a lot of people I have spoken to on the phone over the past couple of months. A lot of work has been put into this dinner - I am particularly impressed that we will be taken to and from the venue in a limo!!!
I got $400's worth of donations to my fundraise online site yesterday. The Northland CF branch also held a raffle and raised about the same amount.
Another highlight will be my interview on classic hits (Whangarei) tomorrow.
Not too much else to report.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 3, 4, 5.

First of all, apologies for my spelling!! My dad sez it sux.
Day 3.I had to be in Kaitaia by 12:30 for a BBQ at LJ Hookers. I had 30km to walk before that so started off at 7am covering about 6.5km p/h. I made it to Kaitaia by about 12:15 and met up with the awesome staff at LJ's. We had a few sausages and walked down the main street with th 'Hooker' bear following us. The staff even did a bit of a bucket collection along the main street, which looked to be pretty sucessful. Before arriving in Kaitaia, we stopped quickly at Awanui school. They were very kind and gave us a donation. A few songs were sung, and then I was back on my way. After leaving Kaitaia, I wasn't feeling 100% and 'hit the wall' after 43 or so km. I think it must have been a combo of sunburn, lack of food & water, and the fact that I started off so quickly (the sausages prob didn't help either!!). I finished day 3 behind schedule, which I was really gutted about. I went home and had a long soak in the bath and an afternoon sleep. That night, we had a BBQ with all the extended family. It was a great night and I was really sad to leave the next day.
Day 4. I made up the distance I couldn't cover the day before, so am back on track. I am not too sure how far I covered, all I remeber is that the last 4km was all up hill!!! There was a gorge which coverd 13km which I had to be driven through. It was essentially a single lane road that had heaps of corners, and no shoulder to walk on. The crew thought the safest thing to do would be to drive it... Felt pretty good, and made reasonable time. I was very stiff by the end of the day.
Day 5 (today):I was sick all through last night!! Vomitting etc. I spent a few hours in bed this morning and have just been off to see the doctor. I have been told that it is not a wise idea to walk today (50km), and the crew have put there foot (feet??) down and told me I can't walk at all. Tomorrow was to be my first rest day, so I may do the 50km stretch tomorrow, using today as my rest day instead. The doctor doesn't think it is a good idea to walk tomorrow either - but I will see how I am feeling (pretty miserable at the moment to be honest).
TV1 are going to do a live cross on their 'Breakfast' show on Wednesday 12th of November, at 7:40am. Hopefully a few people can check that out.
Tomorrow Night we have a dinner and dance in Kerikeri - all the tickets have sold out, so looks to be a good night.
I am super excited about saturday (election day). We are staying in a camping ground type place, so hopefully I will get to watch the progress on TV. Also, I have been told that an MP is coming to visit me on saturday - very excited!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day 2

Covered 55km today (an extra 15km). We started just before 8, and I stopped walking at 6pm. we had a few breaks along the way. I was pretty stoked to cover 14km in the first 2 hrs - averaging 7km p/h!! I am only 9km behind schedule now, and should be able to make that up easy tomorrow. I would like to get up to the stage where I am even ahead of shcedule - we'll see how I go.
I wore my old trusty pair of trainers today, so didn't have any problem with new blisters (just the existing ones to worry about!!). I am trying to get the ADIDAS shoes changed to a larger size.. when I tried them on, my feat wern't swollen, so I think that is causing the blisters!!
Tommorrow I walk through and beyond Kaitia. LJ Hooker is hosting a bit of a BBQ so I am looking forward to that!
I also hope to buy some more fruit when I arrive.. My diest has consisted of bananas and water - so a bit of variation will be a welcome change!!
The local papers up here have made a big deal about the walk, so I am getting recognised and alot of people are coming over to chat, or donate $$. I was even a bit miffed that the 3 crew members all got strawberries and rocky road handed to them... (I didnt't, and I was doing the walking!!!!!!).
Crew are all well. I think the long periods of being stuck in a car are getting to them - Evening conversations are a laugh.
I think that is all to report. I am pretty stiff tonight so am hoping that I will improve by the morning. Achilles played up for the first 20km but was fine after that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Missed flight & Blisters!! - Day 1.

Hi guys,
Day 1 is over, and I am just about to head off to bed. We have an early(ish) start tomorrow. I hope to be walking by 7am. Hopefully this update makes sense.. I am a bit tired!
But first, I have to mention that the trip got off to a less than ideal start!! I am not too confident with my last exam, so was not in the right frame of mind to begin this marathon walk. I also missed my connecting flight (Not my fault)!!! I was so annoyed, but on the positive side, I did get to spend a night in a flash Auckland hotel!!
As a result of missing my flight, I had to get up to Cape Reinga this morning. I didn't arrive untill close to 1:30pm. We had a cool Welcome in Cape Reinga, and began my walk at 2:30pm (8.5hrs behind schedule!!!!). I covered about 26km, before it got too dark to continue - 20km short of my target. I am aiming to make up the distance over the next few days... The majority of the walk was on gravel roads, and as a result, I was a bit slower than anticipated, I even slipped a few times (doing a 'Helen Clark') - much to the amusment of the crew following me. Overall, it was an enjoyable day, not too hot, with awesome views!!!
I am also having a rough time with blisters. I didn't get to wear in my new shoes before I began, which is proving to be a nuissance!!! I got one really impressive blood blister which consumed my heel and most of the side of my foot - No pictures, Sorry.
I am really enjoying myself and the team is getting on really well!! ("Kim is awesome" - Kim) Not much else to report really.. Achilles was fine today.
I am off to pop those blisters - hopefully there will be another blog update tomorrow!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sunday Star Times.

48 hours until I take my first step in Cape Reinga!!

I have the day off from exams today, with my last one tomorrow afternoon. After the exam, it will be straight off to the airport and on my way north!!

I still haven't packed my bags and am a bit concerned about how much stuff I have to take away. A box of gear arrived at my place yesterday. Inside were my 6 pairs of ADIDAS shoes, 10 pairs of socks, and pair of skins. I have been trying to wear the shoes in around the house, and they are feeling pretty comfortable so far. I also have to figure out a way of packing my protein bars - all 102!!

I have just had a photographer from the Sunday Star Times around. He took what felt like 200 photos of me walking toward him, away from him, crouching, standing, leaning on a post - and all other poses imaginable! It was quite an experience and hopefully I didn't make his job TOO difficult (I am not the most photogenic!!). Article will be in this Sunday's paper (2/11).

I also got a text from my 'Oxfam trail walk' team mate, Hannah, who said I had made the front page of todays Wellingtonian. I haven't seen it yet, but it could be good for a laugh (again, not so keen on photos, but apparently the article is really well written!!).

Last night was the last time I will see my mates until I reach Wellington on Dec 8th. We did our usual Wednesday night thing, starting at the Back Bencher Pub in Wellington, and finishing at the Welsh bar. We have done the same thing every Wednesday for the best part of this year, so it was a bit sad to say goodbye to everyone.
There is talk of a bit of a party at the Welsh bar once I arrive in Wellington, so will keep you updated (apparently some of the Hurricanes players will also make an appearance!!).

Anyway, I am off to visit a friend (in the knowledge that these bags wont pack themselves!!).

Flick me a text/email if you are keen on joining me in walking some of the distance - The itinerary is on the 'Emma's Walk for a Cure' facebook page & Fundraiseonline page.

027 464 33 49.

Monday, October 27, 2008

No longer 19...

Only 3 days until I begin!!!

Today is my 20th birthday, so I am no longer the 19 year old university student about to walk the length of NZ for charity.

I sat my Geography exam this morning, and have my International Relations exam tomorrow morning. My final Public Policy exam is on Friday afternoon. I might try to catch the Brazil v England Football match at the stadium on Thursday – depending on how much I get done before then!

I am getting bit nervous about the whole thing now, but am really looking forward to beginning - the worst part is the waiting around!!! I am confident I will settle into my new routine relatively quickly.

My Grandparents came up from the south Island on Friday afternoon, and spent the weekend with us.
My other Grandma has been staying with us for the past 2 weeks.
I spent quite a bit of time with my Aunty & Uncle and my Great Aunty and her partner over the weekend also!
It has been really good spending time with my family.
I know I will miss them all terribly while I am away.

On Sunday I had a BBQ with family and close friends. It was really good fun, and a great opportunity to say goodbye to everyone. I got a lot of really cool gifts too!
I also had the opportunity to go out for dinner one last time with the ATRA girls on Saturday night.
I think I must have over-done it a bit, as I am a bit sick now, and am feeling a bit sorry for myself in bed.

It has been a bit sad finishing up at work as well. I work 3 part-time jobs and have finished up with all but one of them.

I was also really on to it and on Thursday, voted in the general election.

Nothing else to report really… Over the next couple of days I will be packing my bags, uploading some new CD’s to my IPOD, and just sorting a few final things.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hi Guys.

9 days, 18 hours remaining!

Big News. I just received my largest online donation!! Hutt Valley Water Services has donated $1,000!! (Thanks Dad).

The donation was made through my Fundraiseonline website
( ).

This morning I had a reporter from the 'Wellingtonian' around for an interview.
For those of you who get this paper, keep an eye out for my article in next Thursday's paper (30/10) - hopefully the photo is ok!!

Also, 'Cream' magazine is interested in an interview, and I am expecting a call about that in the next few days.

I was interviewed by an Auckland Journalist last night. I will find out the name of the paper and when her article is due to be released, and update that here!

My 'tour' of Pinehaven school (Upper Hutt) went well last Thursday. I spoke to 10 classes and got some pretty good, well thought out questions - and a few that weren't so good, but made me laugh!! Ange was there filming, and assures me she got some good footage!!
My talk at Karori Baptist also went well - I ended up speaking at all 3 services!!

The next couple of days will be filled with STUDY and packing!! Some more filming for the doco is also planned for tonight. Hopefully I will get to spend a bit of time with family and friends as well.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


  • Hi Guys,

    Just under 16 days, 14 hours remaining!!!

    From the 25th of October I will post an update daily. Unfortunately, I have been flat out over the last coupel of weeks, and haven't had an opportunity to blog. A lot has happened in that time, so here is a (not so) Quick update on progress:


    A few months ago, Jucy Rentals kindly sponsored a Crib Campa for my walk. As the Crib Campa only has 2 seatbelts, a further vehicle was needed. I spent a couple of months contacting various rental companies, but to no avail. I had some success with one company (or so I thought), however, yesterday this company confirmed they would not be involved. At that point I was a bit unsure what to do next, as it appeared I had exhausted all of my options.
    Step in Jucy Rentals...
    Jucy has also offered to provide me with a 5 seater rental car, as well as the initial Camper van.
    Big thanks goes to Tim and Amelia at Jucy for their support - couldn't be done without you guys!!!

    Adidas have come onboard, and have offered to provide me with some gear at heavily discounted prices!!
    I was in Christchurch for the day yesterday, and was able to get fitted for gear. I am fortunate enough to be sponsored 6 pairs of Adidas shoes, 3 pairs of Adidas Skins, and 10 pairs of 'special' socks - the kind that draw moisture away from your feet. Having Adidas onboard is a huge honour (I feel like an All Black), and I am stoked with their generosity.

    Ian Leighton, owner of South Brighton Chemist in Christchurch has VERY kindly donated a box of supplies. I now have (from memory) plenty of sunscreen, lip balm, anti-flam massage cream, voltaren gel, pain killers & anti-inflammatory medication, 3B chaffing cream, blister plasters and more. A big thank you to Ian and his staff - I really appreciate the donation, and am sure it will come in handy!!

    Four Winds Productions have also become involved in this project. Their role is to deal with the publicity side of the walk. I am assured that after the election the media will be all over this walk! (I am not too sure how I feel about that - those of you who know me best, know that I don't like to be in the spotlight!!).

    I have just been interviewed by the Dominion Post - fast work, well done guys! Look out for my interview during the last week of October.

    BP has donated $230 worth of petrol vouchers.

    Patrick Jackson, charity manager of the Chris Cairns Foundation, has agreed to let us use the 2 big orange 'Walker' (road) signs Chris used during his walk. These signs attach to the tow bar of a vehicle, and garner a lot of attention! Thanks Patrick, I was having real trouble securing similar signs, and I am sure these will do the trick.

    I was also lucky enough to catch up with Chris, a few days out from completing his walk. He was able to offer lots of advice, and even insisted I look at his feet (not pretty). Thanks Chris, for all the helpful hints!!

    Thanks to Steve and the staff at HVWS, for the donation of a light-weight, fluoro rain jacket, and other clothing.

    These guys got a mention in the last update - but thanks again to Horleys for the donation of 102 Protein33 bars. And thanks to Andy at LA Fitness in Petone, for the loan of a treadmill.

    In my last update, I mentioned that I had applied to sit my exams a couple of days early, and that I was still waiting on the outcome.
    Unfortunately, I received some bad news...
    Victoria University declined my application. I appealed this decision and took my case to the Vice Chancellor, who also declined my application.
    To be honest, I am really disappointed with the way in which Victoria dealt with this situation - I would even go so far as to say, this experience has left me embarrassed to call myself a student of Victoria University.

    The situation now, is that I will sit my final exam on October the 31st (finishing at 6pm). I will then catch a 730pm flight from Wellington to Auckland, and a further flight from Auckland to Whangarei at 930pm. I then need to drive from Whangarei to Cape Reinga (aprox 3hrs). I don't anticipate arriving in Cape Reinga before 2am. I had planned to begin my walk at 6am on the 1st, however, the starting time may need to be reconsidered in light of this situation.

    The worst part is that I will miss the Porwhiri and launch dinner on the 31st!!!!

    I suppose one positive outcome is that I didn't have to go through the flawed process again, and pay the exorbitant fee to sit any exams during my walk!!

    ...Rant over!

    I also mentioned in my last update that I was having a bit of trouble securing a crew. The good news is, this has now been confirmed!! I am very fortunate to have accompanying me, Sharon Hanna (physiotherapist), Kim Taylor (physiotherapist), and Paul Fowler (driver). I am really stoked to have these guys on board, and I am sure we will have an awesome time together!!


    I have been invited to talk to 10 classes at Pine Haven school, in Upper Hutt tomorrow. Furthermore, I will also be talking a little about the walk at Karori Baptist Church on Sunday (two services, 9am & 10:30 - would be great to see you there!!).

    I have a few more 'engagements' during the walk, but will update you all closer to the time.

    NZ ARMY:
    The New Zealand Army look keen to get involved in the walk. They will do this by assisting with bucket collections (as I walk through towns), and even accompany me on some of the legs. This will be a great boost, and I am sure my competitive nature will shine through! Thanks to my trainer, SGT Davey Forbes for setting the wheels in motion.

    Initially I thought the concept of a documentary was put on the back burner when Ange (film maker) was offered a paid position working on a feature film in Australia. Since then, Ange and Jenifer (founder of Bush Craft Productions), have been working on securing film makers from around the country to become involved, and film certain parts of the walk. This is a really exciting prospect, and I look forward to updating you on the progress.

    We have printed up a few t-shirts which are being sold for around $15 each. All proceeds from sales will go towards my fundraising goal of $50,000. Email me if you are keen to get hold of one.

    Accommodation looks to be all sorted (bar a few places). I am even embarrassed to say that some of the places we are staying at are quite flash!! Thank you to everyone who has offered to put us up for a night or two!!!

    I am still having a bit of trouble with my left Achilles. Prayers are appreciated.
    Thanks to my Saturday walking buddies (Ferg, Hannah, Mike, and Jane).

    During the walk be sure to visit: ('Emma's Walk for a Cure'Facebook page).


Friday, September 19, 2008

Emma's first post.


I have just set up my blog account (hopefully it works!!).
I hope to post something on here everyday of my walk, keeping people up to date with my progress and if my (lack of) technical skills allow, I will even attempt to put up a few pics.

Thanks for all your support!