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.