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!!