Wow, I don’t know where to start. I’m back in Auckland, and the distance that took me 7 hours with a bus one month ago took me almost four weeks to walk… This trip is already a lifelong memory and I’ve done “only” 595 kilometers so far. 595 ot of 3000.
The last four weeks, I saw beaches with soft, white sand. Forests muddier than I could ever imagine. Colorful birds. Breathtaking coastlines. Heavy rain. Dolphins(!). Stunning grassy hills that seemed taken straight ot of a fairytale. Sunrises. Huge trees. Sunsets. Black beaches. Views that took my breath away. Tiny towns. Small towns. Bigger towns. Never ending farmlands. Gardens. Highways. Beautiful forest tracks. Rivers.
I felt happiness. Hunger. Strength. Sadness. Belief. Hopelessness. Weakness. Thankfulness. Relief. Pain. Doubt. Hope. The sweet taste of victory…victory over my body but even more often, my mind. I had some amazing days and some days that made me want to go home. Days that made me think this hike over twice, three times…a million times. Why am I doing this? Why the h*ll am I doing this, with mud up to my knees, shaking legs and tears in my eyes..?
This is not an easy thru-hike (thru-tramp to be correct). Some of the sections have been absolutely exhausting and on the edge to undoable with a 20 kg backpack, and at the 500 km marking in another muddy and steep forest, I had my first mental breakdown and seriously just wanted to give up. But at the end of the day when I’m in my tent (Hilleberg Enan – best tent ever!), so far, it has been worth every single, sweaty step.
New Zealand is a beautiful country, and the kiwis are just as amazing. We (me and my trail friends Rune, Bella and Mat) have met so many friendly and helpful persons along the way, I can’t even believe it. We’ve been invited to put up our tents in gardens and we’ve been offered lift (not allowed on trail of course, but off trail…), once a policeman drove us back from a supermarket. That would never happen in Sweden. Right now we are all staying (three rest days…luxury!) in a beautiful house of an amazing woman named Emma, who I met just one month ago. I’ve never felt so welcome in a country before and I’ve never felt so safe and relaxed being away from home. I had big expectations when I came here but so far, I’ve been positively surprised and it has been way much better than I could ever imagine.
We’re having another two days off from trail in Auckland, well earned recovery after 4 weeks and 595 kilometers of tramping. It’s mixed feeling though, one part of me just want to get out there again and one part knows that this rest is needed for the next coming days…weeks…months. I guess I just have to try to calm down, listen to my tired body and relax a bit. After all, we’ve been invited to a Christmas (is it really Christmas soon!?) party here in town tomorrow and that can’t be missed, right?
I’ve been a disaster when it comes to updating my blog and I promise you to try a bit harder the next 2400 kilometers. Luckily, Bella and Mat are writing a BEAUTIFUL blog where you can be updated more often. Find it here: It’s just a long walk.
I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, enjoy the view of Helena Bay…