Thursday, January 8, 2009


Just a very quick update (more to come later):

I finished at Stirling point at 2pm today.

If you get a chance....


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Brydone to Invercargill; Rest Day.

Apologies for the lack of an update last night (and today's novel!)... The computer I was working on froze and I lost my work!!!!
There is a pretty good chance that 3 News will have footage of me finishing my 70 day walk, at Stirling point tomorrow on the 6pm news.
Also, I apparently featured on "Te Karare" the Maori current events tv programme, recently. I will endevour to track down that footage upon my return to wellington.
Jim and I picked up my Dad from his hotel just before 730am this morning. The three of us drove out to Brydone (where I finished walking yesterday), to begin this mornings walk.
Jim and I managed to cover 20km by 1030am (ish). We were met by Jim's wife, Jan, and my friends, Jessie & Haley. Paul slept in AGAIN, (and got lost on the way to meeting us....), so he and Ange joined us just after 11.
Lynne, Renee, and Tarryn joined us for a 15 minute walk, also.
Haley and Jessie also joined Jim and I (Jessie in jandels!!!). The 4 of us eventually walked into Woodlands, where we stopped for lunch at the pub. Gus Dermody (his son, Clarke, was an All Black), greeted us, and allowed us to eat our bakery lunch at the bar - Thanks to Jan for picking up and delivering our lunch!!! Upon hearing about what I was doing, Gus then gave me a cheque - Thanks Gus!! I also met Gus' Friend, David, and his wife. David pastors one of the churches in Invercargill. We had a great chat, and I eventually convinced him to walk a few km with me on Friday (after he agreed, he told me he had just had heart surgery!!!).
We left the pub, and continued walking. Rachel joined us about 15km out of Invercargill. The 5 of us enjoyed playing "Sweet & Sour", "Guess the Road Kill" (Which, after many days of practice, I convincingly won), and encouraging trucks to use their air horns - all games I cant play on my own...
10km out of Invercargill, Tony and the team from LJ Hooker met us and walked the remainig distance (as did Dad). We arrived at the Hooker office to an awesome reception. Nana & Grandad also turned up (something they have been doing quite often lately...)
Jessie, Haley and myself all went back to Jim and Jan's place to relax before going out to dinner with Laurie, Lynne, Tarryn, Dion, Ange, Jim and Jan. Thanks for dinner guys, and good try Jim (wine).
After dinner, we went back to Jim and Jan's and looked at some photo albums, and watched a few picture dvd's. The pictures of their son's lung transplant were a bit tough to watch, but then we saw pics of Jan's birthady - we all thgought it was funny hearing Jan from the kitchen once she knew what we were up to.. "Oh for goodness sake!!".
Time for bed...
Day 69: Rest Day.
Thunder and lightning down here!!!
Jim and Jan have lent me their truck to use for the day (SCORE!!!).
Jessie, Haley, Ange, Dad, Paul and myself all drove to Bluff to check out the route I will walk tomorrow. We also went up Bluff hill for a look, however, as the weather is SO miserable at the moment, we couldn't see a thing!! Dad was born in Bluff and lived there for over a decade (How??!), so we did a tour and checked out all the places he lived etc.
We drove back into Invercargill. After yesterday's experience, Jessie decided to buy some walking shoes! On our way to lunch, I came across Tony & John from LJ Hooker, doing a bucket collection (on my behalf - I had asked to come along to help out, but Tony said I should enjoy my rest day, and that I have - Thanks Tony!!). The rain was absolutley pouring, so good effort guys, much appreciated!!!
After lunch, the ATRA girls (Jessie, Haley, myslef) decided to go for a bit of a drive to explore the area. We made it out to Dipton. We are just at the hotel where my Dad and Paul are staying, using their internet and drinking at the bar. I am just about to pick up my friend Cam from the airport, and head back to Jim & Jan's for a lovely home cooked dinner (no pressure Jan!!). Not too much else planned for the eveinig - I would like to say I am having an early night, but I doubt very much that that will transpire!!

Starting tomorrow at 745am outside the LJ Hooker Office, Invercargill. People are most welcome to join me for the 30km sprint to Stirling Point, Bluff. We will be finished by 2pm - Bring a rain jacket... (And walking shoes, Jessie!!!).
Thanks once again to everyone for the support - this time tomorrow, it will all be over, after 70 days!! I will update again tomorrow, and will publish a summing up blog over the next few days - Be sure to keep an eye out for the book I am writing about the walk, I promise it will be a million times better than these blog updates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 66 - Waipahi to Brydone.

Walked 49km today.
Left Balclutha and drove 45 minutes to where I finished walking yesterday. Paul and Ange slept in, so just Dad and I for the first hour.
Shins have been sore all day, but there is only 80km til I finish, so I will have the opportunity to rest them for a few weeks then. As I am walking I often think about how painful these shin splints are, then I remind myself of the medical procedures I have seen my friend go through... it puts things into perspective and I realise that shin splints are nothing in comparrison...
Arrived in Gore at 12, and stopped for lunch. Caught up with my Nana & Grandad in Gore also, and will catch up with them again as I finish walking on Fri.
Paul walked the final 16km with me again today, which was good.
My friends Jessie & Haley (from Wellington) arrived in Invercargill today. They are here until the finish, and I am really looking forward to spending time with them over the next few days.
HUGE thanks to Jim and Jan, my hosts for the next few nights (Invercargill), for an amazing dinner at the Ascourt Motel - We all really enjoyed ourselves, it's a shame you wern't there to join us!!!
I am also really looking forward to travelling to Stewart Island (on Saturday). I got a phone call from Kirsten at Real Adventures (Ferry operator), who said that Real Adventures would like to sponsor myself and my entourage of 8 across to Stewart Island - absolutley free!!!!! A huge thank you to Kirsten and the team for this opportunity!!
My last 'big' day of walking tomorrow (45km) - I finish in Invercargill. So far $28,000 has been raised - I am really pushing for $30,000 - a nice round figure.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day 65 - Balclutha to Waipahi.

Last night I had Denise & Murray (friends from Taupo), stop by our motel for a catch up. They had just been to Stewart Island, and gave us a few tips on things to see and do, when we go over on Saturday. Really neat to catch up with them, glad they had the time!!!
I am also really looking forward to catching up with 2 of my best friends, Jessie and Haley, who are flying down from Wellington tonight to see me finish. I am really lucky to have such awesome friends, particularly as this is not a cheap trip for them.
Started walking at 8am this morning, and managed 46km by 430pm. I kept a steady 6km/ph pace all day (a bit slower than usual, but I am happy with that pace, considering how painful shin splints are!). Paul also managed to walk the final 15km with me - from Clinton to Waipahi.
Really windy today!! I enjoyed todays walk, as there were quite a few hills - makes the day interesting.
I got a few donations from passing cars (thanks to Brent, and Margaret's friend, Simon, from Wellington!).
Not too many cars on the road today which made a nice change. It was quite nice having moments of silence (aside from my ipod - I don't know how I managed for so long without it!! Thanks Mum!).
Walked on a section of the 'Presidential Highway', between (bill) Clinton and (al) Gore, will continue to walk this highway again tomorrow on my way through Gore - I will also have to stop for a picture of the sign!!
My cell phone was going non-stop today with texts from friends and family. Really encouraging to get so many positive texts!! It feels like I am on the home stretch in a marathon - entering the stadium and seeing the crowd there, cheering me on as I sprint to the finishing chute. I am able to enjoy the walk, and reflect on what I have acomplished thus far. I have 2 more big days of walking ahead (46km & 45km), before a rest day, and the final 35km into Bluff on Friday. I am looking to finish strong and finish well, despite VERY painful shins!!
Thanks once again for all the support - we are almost there!!!!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 64 - Clrendon to Balclutha. Day 65 - Rest Day.

Day 64:Walked 46km today. Dad, Paul, Ange and myself all met for breakfast at our hotel (Kingsgate) in Dunedin, before heading off to New World to pick up some lunch. We drove south of Dunedin to where I finished walking yesterday (almost at Waihola). A really hot day again. Within 10 minutes of walking I recieved phone calls from both TV 1 & TV 3 asking about my arrival in Bluff. Hopefully I will be contacted again in the next few days re: tv coverage of finish (really pleased I sent them emails, and wish I had of done it sooner!!!). As I approached Lake Waihola, I saw 2 kids waiting for me at the end of their driveway, with a glass of water (Thanks Sam & Erina!). I loved walking past lake Waihola, and hopefully dad took some good pics! Also came across a fence with 1000's of pairs of shoes attached. Made it to Milburn (7km out of Milton). Very flat road, was possible to see St. John's church in Milton, 8km down the road!! We all stopped for lunch at the church. Left Milton at 2pm with 22km 'til Balclutha. My Nana & Grandad caught up with us in their camper van, 10km out of Milton (they are going to follow us down to Bluff for the finish). Began raining at 3pm (ish) and didn't stop until 7pm. Got absolutley soaked (AGAIN - twice in 2 days). I enjoyed the walk from Milton to Balclutha - quite a few hills which made it interesting. Crossed the Clutha Suspension bridge into Balclutha, and was able to walk right to our accommodation (Highway Lodge Motel - thanks to our awesome hosts, Jean & Bryce). Thawed out in the shower, then went to dinner at the Balclutha Town & Country club.
Day 65:pretty cold here at the moment, and not too much to do in Balclutha, so enjoyed the opportunity to sleep in. Dad and I went out and got some breakfast while the others slept. Arrived back at the motel once everyone was awake. Paul, Dad, Nana, Grandad and myself drove out to Nugget point to check out the seals and lighthouse etc. We stopped of at Kaka point to go check out the beach and have an ice cream. Spent a bit of time soaking my feet in the surf, hopefully the salt will do them some good, as they are a bit swollen and purple. Came back into Balclutha and got some Subway for lunch. Thanks to Richard of Subway, Balclutha, for the free subs!! Not much planned for the afternoon. I am off to the supermarket to get some ingredients for dinner. Found a pretty neat church down the road also, so Paul & I are thinking of going to their eveining service later on.
Only 4 more walking days to go!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day 58 - 63

Emma's Mum here...

Apologies for the absence of any update for a while. I managed to accidentally delete my last epistle after a half hour of writing and haven’t had the access to complete until now!

Day 58 Glenavy to Herbert

It was a very hot day today – one of the hottest days of the walk so far. Paul enjoyed walking 18 km’s with me and kept up a good pace while Grandma and Mum did the driving along the lovely wide berms leading into Oamaru.

We had a few people stop along the way with lots of encouragement and donations. Kay, the AP from Pinehaven School in Wellington (The first school that I spoke at, on this journey) was on her way South with the family, and stopped to have a catch up. Wayne and Vicki from Oamaru also stopped at the same time and then visited later that evening (many thanks for the donated drinks which were most appreciated!!!). We stopped briefly at Subway and received yet more donations from Janice and another from Rose who it transpired was a distant relative. The heat must have taken a toll as after lunch I had a severe nose bleed and just at the time that the ODT Reporter arrived on the side of the road to conduct an interview with me. At this time, a car load of young men also stopped and gave a donation – Luke and his mate appreciated my efforts as they had done something similar (albeit not walking and from Bluff to Cape Reinga). As I was feeling a bit dizzy and the heat was relentless – I finished a little earlier than planned and retired back to our wonderful hosts’ place where we finally met our hosts. Karen, Russell, Jake and Emma – I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful hospitality – your generosity was most appreciated by us all and has left us with very fond memories of Oamaru and your kindness. Many thanks for the dinner at Filadelfios’ and showing us the wonders of the yellow eyed penguins at Bushy Beach and also the blue penguins coming ashore at dusk. Emma and Jake – also appreciated the donation from the proceeds of the Ardgowan school production of Cinderfella’s – thank you both!!

Day 59 Herbert to

A little late starting unfortunately but the Gawn family were troopers for waiting and then walking a few of the KM’s with me on another fairly hot morning. I also met with Warren Prescott from Oamaru LJ Hookers – who was organising a bucket collection at lunchtime in Oamaru. Karen – your support continued to be amazing facilitating some packed lunches from Sharon and John Greaney from Peter Pan Bakery and also fresh fruit from David and Anne Laughton of BDA Marketing. We headed back into Oamaru to assist the LJ Hooker Team (and Gawn family) with the bucket collection along the main street. Generosity of spirit and money is a recurrent theme of my journey – the Oamaru collection excelled and was the best collection yet (even though I understand the majority of people had escaped to the lakes) Warren- again many thanks for your efforts particularly at this time of year. We stayed in Palmerston and when returning to our rooms after dinner met with the Great Nephew of Esther James – the first woman I believe to walk the length on NZ in 1931 in aid of buying NZ made. He showed us a copy of her book “Just jobbing along” which was very interesting.

Day 60 to Dunedin

A little cooler today. Mum commented that the roadsides were a little narrower today while manoeuvring the Juicy van at a safe distance behind me. Jo and Mark Goodhew stopped for a quick catch up while on their way back to Timaru. The walks each day seem to get longer, the more I am without my IPOD – it’s much harder to keep my mind focused and the momentum has been interrupted. Lots of toots of encouragement from passing motorists kept the day interesting. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to walk the last big hill into Dunedin – mainly due to the no walking for the next 15km sign! Anyway, I was on time to meet up with Janet, Olivia, Rosemary, Albert and Richard from the CF Community in Dunedin. Janet, Olivia and I walked from Pinehill to the Octagon and there ended Day 60. After 4 days of walking in the heat I was pretty exhausted and just rested – thanks to our Sponsors – the Kingsgate Hotel.

Day 61 REST DAY (New Years Eve)

Mum finally took pity on me and has assisted in the purchase of a new Ipod – to replace the new one I received for my birthday 6 weeks ago, and which was damaged by rain while walking through Christchurch.

Rosemary and Albert very kindly hosted an amazing lunch at their home for the team and I – Mum and Grandma really enjoyed walking around your lovely garden.

Karen’s parents called into Dunedin to meet me on their way back to Oamaru after a couple of days of camping. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and encouragement.

New Years eve – and I couldn’t quite last until midnight. I stayed at the Octagon listening to the band until I could no longer stand and just managed to see the New Year in before collapsing into bed.

Day 62 Rest Day (New Years Day)

Mum and Grandma headed back to Wellington today to keep the home fires burning while Dad joins me tomorrow to drive the van for the remainder of the trip. After dropping Mum and Grandma at the airport – I did a little bit of sight seeing, picked up Paul’s birthday present – rather belatedly (sorry Paul) and Ange and I purchased a lovely salad meal from the Supermarket for dinner.

Day 63 Dunedin to Clarendon.

I met Rosemary, Albert and Richard at the Octagon and walked with Janet and Daryl & Lochie Judd (friends from Wellington and in the area on holiday). A good effort by Daryl who walked for 15km’s. A person already on a walk also joined me for a couple of hours. I stopped at lunchtime to pick Dad up from the airport and managed to get a call over the loud speaker for parking too long in the ‘drop off ‘ zone!!!!

I continued walking after lunch – the weather was pretty miserable and on a par with the worst day I had in Christchurch.

I met Jeremy who arrived by motorcycle and made a very substantial and generous donation on behalf of himself, his wife, Mother –in law and 2 year old daughter Harriet. Thank you so much – it was a pleasure talking with you too.

The occupants of a car which stopped were also very generous with a donation – many thanks.

A photographer from the ODT also arrived at some point in the afternoon to take some photos and I’ve not long finished an interview with the ODT. A big thumbs up to the ODT for your amazing coverage and supporting my walk for a cure!

Balclutha today….