Archive for the ‘aside.’ Category

The Plan Changes

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

After the walk from Cape Reinga, it was clear to me that walking New Zealand was not going to happen. I knew that I hadn’t done enough research on the route and that I had the wrong equipment with me. In truth, I am convinced that we need some sort of support mechanism. Ideally, a support vehicle with people who know where we are and can travel on the road from town to town to help us and organise things if anything should go wrong while we are on the trail. That, or you’d need to have friends all over New Zealand, which I currently don’t have. Although in truth that option might not be all that viable in some of the places that the route would take us. This is not to say that the route couldn’t be followed without support, it can of course but I think for us, with our little experience, it would be foolish to continue with the original plan.

When we left Te Paki stream and in Paihia, I thought Diarmuid was of the same opinion and that he was quite happy to forget the plan and continue with something else. As far as I knew, he’d had just as hard a time on the walk as I had, and indeed his recuperation in Paihia seemed more needed, his legs were quite unwilling to cooperate when we walked into the town to get some food. My only problem was the few blisters on my feet, which caused me to limp slightly. I’ve since found out, how mad Diarmuid truly is. Even at Te Paki stream, he was watching the two distant dots of our neighbours from the night before and he wanted to follow them, he wanted to continue on to Ahipara. Madness! I wanted off that beach and into somewhere with food, water and shade.

We’ve now agreed to buy a car and instead of walk New Zealand, to drive from place to place and do various things at these places. Camping is still high on the agenda, (although I believe our opinions on what camping is, vastly differs). As far as I’m concerned the walking was only a means to an end first and something I wanted to do second. I have many other things that I want to do in New Zealand, so the changes to the plan don’t affect my reasons for going on this trip as much as they do for Diarmuid. Diarmuid came on the trip to complete the challenge of walking New Zealand from North to South and that’s really it. This leaves me in the uncomfortable place in which I feel that I’ve let Diarmuid down.

Still, I have no intention of returning to the original plan. It’s funny, but I have been reconsidering it in the recent days because you forget. You forget how bad it really was. As I think back to those two days, I don’t really remember any clear details. The second day especially feels like it was a dream and my memories are hazy at best. I don’t remember any pain, and in fact I don’t think I suffered from any pain on the walk from Cape Reinga. I remember pain on Great Barrier Island; there was a lot of pain on Great Barrier but there was nothing on Cape Reinga, except the thirst and a complete lack of energy. In part I think this has to do with the fact that I was prepared for pain, this was something I expected, I knew my feet would be sore, I assumed my back would twinge and my muscles would ache, but it didn’t really happen. My feet has some blisters but they were small fry compared to others I’ve had to walk with. I wasn’t prepared to be completely without one iota of energy nor was I in anyway prepared for the thirst I experienced, wich came as a complete shock to the system. As I reflected back on the two days, it occurred to me that my lack of energy was also probably due to not having eaten enough over those two days and even the night before we left I hadn’t eaten a whole lot. The only substanial thing I ate over those 24 hours was the sandwich provided by the tour company.

So I find myself in the one place I had no intention of returning to, Auckland. Auckland is fine as cities go, but it’s still another city and I find little to interest me and do. Knowing I would be returning I quickly came up with a survival plan of going to the cinema everyday and reading books. To this I’ve now added the idea of taking German back up. It’s been seven years since I last studied the language, so I plan on starting from scratch. I’ve almost seen everything that’s out in the cinema here, so that part of the plan will soon finish, unless I go see movies for a second time round. I’ve bought five books in the past week, finished one, about to finish another and will probably finish the rest in the next two weeks. In truth, I’m getting frustrated waiting for Diarmuid to find a car that he’s willing to buy, I want to get out of Auckland and go somewhere new, preferably some out of the way forest with a nice river full of trout running through it.