I’ve been pinching my arms more than once during the last couple of months. What started out as a dream three years ago is about to come true…I still really can’t believe it. Until now, only my family and my closest friends have known about my plans and I am so happy to finally be able to tell the rest of the world that I, on the 25th of October, am leaving Sweden (with its not very lovely cold and dark winter) for SPENDING FIVE MONTHS IN NEW ZEALAND!!!
Why? My spontaneous answer is why not?, but I guess (and hope) that you want a better answer than that. So, I’m gonna backpack…on foot. Or hike. Or tramp, to speak New Zealand English.
For five months? Oh yes! I’m gonna tramp Te Araroa = a trail through the entire country – 3000 kilometers (1864 miles) from the north to the south...and I can’t believe that my dream that I’ve nourished in the back of my mind for more than three years finally will become reality.
Alone? You bet! I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna be alone for 3000k…I’ll find new friends along the way, not worried at all. I’m really looking forward to spending a lot of time alone though, challenging not only my physical but also the mental strengths that (I think) I’ve got.
I’m sure that those of you who already know me aren’t very surprised and you might think “oh well, she walked 800 kilometers through Spain five years ago, she’ll make it”…but this is something else. Completely.
Spain and its terrain wasn’t much of a challenge compared to this. Sure, I walked 40k every day for 3 weeks in a row and I was both physically and mentally exhausted every night, but at least I had a shower and dinner waiting for me…and a bed. Inside. The fact is that the shower and the bed were what kept me going the 10th hour…11th hour…12th hour…
But tramping in New Zealand is not hiking in Spain. The shower along Te Araroa is often a lake, a river, the sea or…nothing at all. The (most of the time) warm bed inside is this time gonna be my tent, or some nights a hut (without heating, of course). The dinners at the small Spanish restaurants are along Te Araroa “home” made meals cooked outside on a stove. And on top of that, in Spain I saw no trace of dense forests, swing bridges, river crossings and private land with thousands of sheep. Again, this is a completely different adventure…the biggest one in my life, so far. I’m feeling like the young Bastian in the movie “The Neverending Story” with my precious book and its words becoming reality…
I won’t even try to describe how excited I am about this and how much I’m looking forward to take the first steps down from the lighthouse at Cape Reinga, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean…but I still have 84 days (only!) of planning (a LOT of planning, that is) left to do. Of course, I will tell you everything about what’s happening until I leave, but first – browse around and please, read about my charity work to raise money for cancer research along the way. If you have the possibility, please contribute by sponsoring 1 kilometer…it truly means the world to me. ♥