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October Updates

Sunday 30th October:
After a few days recovery in Kerikeri, I moved on to Paihia. Back on the track, I felt pleased to be making progress, hiking through dense forests, but at the same time I knew I had some serious ground to gain. For myself, one days rest means an extra 5km’s on top of each days hike – for the next five days, before I’m back on schedule.

Monday 31st October:
A long days walk before I finally reached Russell Forest walkway. Lets just say, you know you’re tired when you wake up the following morning with your camera pack still on. Who needs sleeping tablets?

Update (Friday 25th October 2011):
I hiked into Kerikeri (upper north-east of north island) yesterday morning around 10:00am. I’ve never had to deal with blisters to this degree on any of my previous hikes.

Just busy finding myself around this small friendly town in search of some light treatment before moving on.

Update (Friday 21st October 2011):
I feel like cancelling today. The hike out of Takahue was pleasant enough as the gravel road gradually took me higher and closer to the Raetea Forest. Suddenly the forest began and so too did the deep mud on the steep track. From the trail notes I knew that the orange markers on this section of trail are not to be relied upon. GPS is recommended so I had it on. Little did I know how tough and unpleasant this trail would be. Orange markers were placed where the trail was obvious and then the trail just vanished into thick tangled vines countless times with not a marker in sight.

I was expecting the Raetea Forest Track to be tricky but not to the extent that it was. I didn’t enjoy it except for the view at the Raetea Summit. Heavy rain from the previous days left a lot of mud to contend with as well as the poorly placed markers which this trail is renowned for.

It’s been far from an enjoyable day and don’t recommend this trail to anyone until it’s marked correctly!! With light fading, several kilometers to go and nowhere at all to pitch a tent I felt the pressure. As bright as my headlamp is – I would not like to find my way through this forest after dark.

Update (Thursday 20th October 2011):
Those Kauri trees in the Herekino forest are so majestic. I felt like an ant next to them. How could anyone cut them down. Glad these ones are here to stay! I hiked into Takahue feeling quite dehydrated. I misplaced my Steripen water purifier. It found its way between my pack and pack liner so I used tablets which take 4 hours to work their magic . So after much walking I only drank at 8:30pm.

Update (Wednesday 19th October 2011):
I’ll be leaving Ahipara early tomorrow morning and heading for the Herekino Forest. My time here at Ahipara Holiday Park & YHA has been very enjoyable. I’ve met some really nice people who have made my stay here all the more enjoyable. It has rained over the region here for the past five days so I’m hoping the mud on track won’t be too deep. Thanks to the weather, I’m now behind schedule by three days but I quite like the challenge of having to play catch up.

Update (Tuesday 18th October 2011):
Too much rain! Looks like the weather is only going to clear in a few days time so I have decided to stay in Ahipara at the Holiday Park and YHA for two nights. I’ll start hiking the Herekino Forest on Thursday morning. Very excited to see the giant Kauri trees in the forest!

Update (Monday 17th October 2011):
Gordon and I are currently in Ahipara (Far North) having a rest day while packing last-minute things. We’re planning to wake up early tomorrow morning and head for the start of the Herekino Forest which is where I ended up my hike yesterday. Gordon will then be heading for Sydney. It was great hiking with you up to the south end of Ninety Mile Beach Gordo. Thanks for all your support.

 Update (Friday 7th October 2011):
We’ve just reached Auckland and have completed all food drops south of this point. We’re enjoying the view from the top of One Tree Hill as we get ready to transfer over to a 4WD. The Land Rover will not only be quicker on the open road but much easier to navigate along creeks towards beaches.

Update (Tuesday 4th October 2011):
We are now in the town of Wanganui (a quarter of the way up the north island) after dropping off a total of sixteen of the thirty-three food drop boxes. After setting out one day behind we are now back on schedule. Thanks to all those who have helped us out along the way.

Our next stop tonight is Waitomo Caves (about a third of the way up the north island).

Update (Thursday 29th September 2011):
We are now in Lake Tekapo after dropping the first four food drops out of thirty-three. Twenty nine to go. We are one day behind with a ferry to catch so we are racing for the Cook Strait.

Update (Wednesday 28th September 2011):
We are about to drive our way up to Cape Reinga from Queenstown. Nothing like a long road trip north before a long hike all the way south again. I originally had in mind hiking the whole trail with someone but those interested couldn’t get the time off and those who had the time were not interested. A compromise often presents itself – a few close friends will be joining me for short sections of the trail and hopefully I’ll bump into some of the other 2011/2012 Te Araroa hikers along the way too.

Update (Monday 19th September 2011):
Tomorrow Gordon and I fly over to Auckland New Zealand for the start of a great adventure. New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail traverses the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south. Before the hiking begins, my brother and I have a great road trip ahead of us starting in Queenstown and finishing up at Cape Reinga. I’ve been planning this trip for over a year now. One more sleep to go! Will I get any sleep?

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Norm #

    Hey young Kenyon……….so how are the feet holding up?

    3 days behind shouldn’t be a problem as the better weather sets in and the longer evenings.

    Looking forward to seeing some shots soon too.

    Keep going my friend and hopefully will catch up with you somewhere on the South Island.

    All the best

    Norm & Le Quyen

    Monday 24 October, 2011
    • Hi Norm and Le Quyen! Great to hear from you. Feet are better today thanks. Another day or two and I’ll be good to set off again. Yes, looking forward to the longer evenings and warmer weather. I’ve had some cold nights here where I’ve put on every bit of clothing I’ve had. One night I had all three pairs of socks on. The third layer of socks I had on are now a bit stretched 🙂 . It took a few nights in the tent to settle in and I’m finally getting some sleep during the nights. Slept on an airstrip the other night. Was the only clearing I could find for miles in that particular area.
      Some photos would be great but unfortunately I’ve had problems with my phone. It won’t accept sim cards – hope to have it sorted soon. Now that Gordon’s back in Sydney he’s onto it. I’ll soon be uploading to the blog but first my phone will have to make another flight back to NZ.
      Definitely looking forward to seeing you on the South Island!

      Thursday 27 October, 2011
  2. Norm #

    Mr Kenyon

    Hope all goes well with the SIM problem and we’ll actually get to see where you are and where you’ve been.

    How are things going? How are the feet holding up, good I hope?

    Are you getting back on track or is the weather still against you? Here it’s gone back to winter, cold as………!

    How many k’s a day are you doing and have you got company or tramping alone?

    Happy tramping and stay safe.

    Norm and LQ

    Tuesday 25 October, 2011
    • Hi Norm! Gordon is fixing up my phone at the moment and when it’s sorted I’ll be able to keep in touch a lot easier.
      The weather is perfect at the moment so it’s a shame I’m not back on trail right now. Yes, I’ve heard how cold it is in Sydney and I don’t envy you all there :).
      I’m hiking between 20 and 30km per day and if it weren’t for blisters I’d be able to cover more distance. When the blisters calm down I’ll be able to make up for the multiple rest days taken. So, a slow start although I’m enjoying blending in to this fantastic lifestyle. There are many parts of this hike that your senses will enjoy!

      Thursday 27 October, 2011
  3. Norm #

    Just read your latest update Mr Kenyon and I must say it sounds all a bit nasty, with blisters doing the damage it would seem.

    I hope you’ve managed to get some treatment for them, though I suspect the best advice would be to rest, but this ovbiously has consequences as far as your schedule is concerned. Still I guess it’s far better to suffer the delay than suffer the pain……..!

    I think I’ll be soaking my feet in brine before I start this tramp, does wonders for boxers hands, so I suppose it’s the same for feet………turns them into old leather in the process but you can’t have everything, can you?

    Anyway, I’m sure you’ll get through this minor setback and very soon you’ll be pounding out the miles leaving a scorch mark in your wake as you make up for lost time……!

    All the best my friend

    Norm and LQ

    Wednesday 26 October, 2011
    • Pre-soaking your feet in brine might be a good idea Norm although I have never tried it. Let me know how it works out when you try it.
      So many people recommended Leukotape for preventing blisters so I decided to leave the moleskin this time round and was interested to see how this tape performed. I normally use moleskin patches for the first two weeks hiking. From this experience I know that Leokotape does not work for me. I had three layers of this tape on my heels and blisters still formed. Now it’s back to using moleskin as a preventative. I’ll now only use the Leukotape to keep moleskin patches from peeling off after a few days.

      Thursday 27 October, 2011
  4. Norm #

    Mr Kenyon

    Sorry to hear about the blister situation, but I must say that I haven’t heard all that much good feedback about the tape, but I guess it’s very much a personal thing are feet, works for some and not for others, unfortunately there’s only one way to find out………which it appears you have!

    Have you tried Compeed patches? They worked for me and stick like billy oh so don’t need tape to keep them on. I’ll be doing the brine thing and will let you know how it goes.

    How much time have you lost due to blisters? What’s the track like, any route finding issues so far?

    Keep up the good work and especially the updates, it’s interesting stuff.

    All the best

    Norm and LQ

    Thursday 27 October, 2011
    • Norm #

      Mr Kenyon
      Days, nee weeks have passed since we last heard from you………..where for art thou?

      I trust that all is going swimingly and you’re back on track….in every sense of the word…?

      Blisters a thing of the past……..?

      Updates Mr Kenyon…….you’re public await…!

      All the best

      Norm and LQ

      Monday 31 October, 2011
      • Hi Norm, I spoke to Ken yesterday morning. He’s quite tired but gaining resilience every day. In a couple of days he’ll be meeting up with a few people who want to join him as he heads south. He still has blisters but is managing well thanks to the Compeed plasters you’ve mentioned. Apparently they’re very effective and reduce pain significantly. You know your stuff Mr Norm! And how’s the brine soak coming along?

        Saturday 5 November, 2011
      • Hi Norm! I’m taking a side trip to Great Barrier Island so that I can rest up before continuing on the trial. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this island so figured I’d go and check it out whilst I’m alongside it. I’ll take a walk on the white sandy beaches and the salt water will be great for the wounded feet.

        Thursday 10 November, 2011
    • Yes Norm – there have been plenty of route finding issues which have cost me more than a full days hike so far and I’ve only been hiking about 20 days all up. I hope this doesn’t keep up over the 6 months. So far there have been 3 sections of trail that could do with a lot more markers… not to mention a trail. There are sections where the trail is not visible at all because of thick impassable overgrowth. So it’s a matter of making your own trail in order to get through. These trails should not be listed as “open”. Needless to say I have not enjoyed these sections as I enjoy hiking… not bush-bashing. In future I’m going to hike away from the Te Araroa Trail in order to bypass the overgrowth (if I read about it before getting there). The worst overgrown section so far has been the Mackerel Forest (south of Ngunguru in the region of Whangerei). I re-opened the trail notes online and now see that it is closed and will open in a few weeks time. When I printed my notes it was open.
      Other than that all else is going well.

      Wednesday 9 November, 2011
    • This reply comes a bit late but it’s been a while since I last had email. So far I have taken 8 days off due to blisters and I’m looking forward to getting back on the trail when my feet are better. I have really enjoyed being on this trail for most of the way and I know it’s only going to get better.

      Thursday 10 November, 2011
  5. Andrea Faris #

    Hi!! Sounds like things are going… well??? Blisters suck but hopefully you have them sorted now. Love seeing the updates and look forward to seeing you when you get to Tongariro!! Can’t wait for pictures. Everything you are seeing must be so amazing!

    Tuesday 1 November, 2011
    • Andrea!

      Nice to see you here! It seems like quite a while now since I started Herekino. I hope things are going well for you Andrea. Glad you like the updates. Just wait till the photos arrive. I’m sure they will add a heap more detail than text alone.
      Yesterdays hike was one I’ll remember forever. You’re right, fantastic scenery surrounds me. This is what it’s all about!

      Friday 4 November, 2011
  6. Norm #

    Young Man

    You seem quite chipper which is a good sign that things are going well………and long may it continue to do so.

    Soon the blister scenario will be but a distant memory as your feet toughen up to the point where you could make handbags out of them………!

    Thanks Gordon for the additional update too. Always reassuring to know that you’re closely monitoring Kenyons health and progress.

    Like the others here we are looking forward to seeing more of what you’re seeing……..thus the envy factor will surely grow and in doing so will prompt me to make more definate plans to follow in the great mans footsteps………..or at least catch up with you later on the South Island….!

    What is your pack weight?

    How’s the food situation working out?

    Is there anything you wish you had brought but had not, and vice verse?

    When on the trail what do you crave most……in those moments when you allow your desires free reign……….I know that for me it’s usually either a nice cold beer or a simple cheese and pickle sandwich.

    Take care my friend and stay well

    Norm and LQ

    Saturday 5 November, 2011

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