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Invercargill to Bluff Peninsular

Hiking Days Remaining: 1
Remaining Distance: 13km
Distance Covered: 3288km
Total Traverse Hiking Days: 147

Oreti River Bridge was the starting point of my second last day of the trail. I couldn’t believe it when Gordon told me this morning that in twenty-four hours time I’d be at Bluff!

Once back at Oreti Bridge, where I’d left off yesterday, I was gathering my pack and poles, getting ready for the hike, when Gordon unravelled the most amazing flag I’d ever seen. It was a flag of my traverse which he designed especially for me and had it printed on satin! He then handed it to me. Every town and city I’d hiked through had it’s place on the flag. The logo which Gordon designed when I told him I’d be hiking the length of New Zealand was also used on the flag. I was just totally amazed at receiving such a special gift at a time I least expected it. Some people really know how to celebrate. Gordon is definitely one of these people. I immediately wanted to start walking with the flag.

So we got on our way, but we had only just crossed the road when we were stopped in our tracks by a lady cycling with her two dogs on leads. She shouted out “Wow!, that looks intrepid!”. For the next five kilometres leading up to the estuary, so many people stopped us to find out what our story was – we were getting nowhere fast. They really were taken with the bright colours of my eye-catching flag! If that wasn’t enough, people were hooting at us all day. It really added a huge amount of atmosphere and excitement to my last full day of hiking. The flapping sound of the flag in the wind brought it home to me that this has been a successful hike in so many ways.

The highlight of the day was without a doubt walking the flag and it seemed to halve the 24km distance covered!

You may have noticed on the blog site, there’s a tiki face here and there which is a symbol of good luck for me. Gordon knows how much I like this particular tiki and has also included it in the design of the flag. It’s great to have such an emblem which fits in with the theme of the land I’ve spent so much time in.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tracy Getz #

    Kenyon…have to say I have been following you ever since we meet in the middle of Lewis Pass outside Hamner Springs..to offer you a “hitch”!! I feel tremendous joy for you today that your goal has been reached and that your family is right along side you…be proud or yourself..I am. Tracy- a Canadian girl in awe of yet another Aussie..:)

    Thursday 10 May, 2012
    • Hi there Tracy! What a lovely surprise it was to read your comment. I was very grateful that you saved me hiking the 50km side trip to get to my food drop in Hanmer Springs. I really enjoyed the trip with you both and I couldn’t have hoped for two nicer girls to help me out the way you did. I hope you enjoyed the hot pools in Hanmer! If you ever visit Sydney please contact me through the website email address. It would be lovely to meet up again. Thanks again and bye for now, Kenyon 🙂

      Monday 14 May, 2012
  2. Frith Metford #

    Wow, Ken!!! I am so excited for you!!! The flag you designed and made Gordon, looks absolutely fantastic!! I am glad you got to enjoyed walking with it on your last day Ken! You, looked in your element as you are!! Enjoy!!!

    Thursday 10 May, 2012
    • Hi Frith,

      Without Gordon’s efforts the ending would have been far from what it was. What a day indeed. I wish I could relive it again. Thanks for your help in trying to ease the pain in my knees. I’ll let you know when I feel any improvements.

      Monday 14 May, 2012
  3. Robert Laidlaw #

    Congratulations Ken on such an amazing journey!!!
    You looked like you were really enjoying your last full day carrying the flag
    brilliantly created by Gordon.

    Enjoy the final steps and celebrations/rest to come!!!!

    Thursday 10 May, 2012
    • Thanks Rob! Yeah, I sure am enjoying some relaxation time in Queenstown where it is snowing outside. All this snow is a novelty and is adding to the celebrations. See you soon back in Sydney.

      Monday 14 May, 2012
  4. Jo #

    Well Kenyon, you’ve done it! Fantastic achievement. Look forward to seeing you when you are home and settled again. You can meet the newest member of the family and tell me all the details. I replied to your email on my mobile but think it might not have gone through

    See you soon
    Jo

    Thursday 10 May, 2012
    • Thanks Jo! I’m so looking forward to seeing you and your baby and hearing all the news that I have missed out on since I last saw you. I don’t recall receiving your reply from your mobile but it might still show up at a later stage. Just sitting here in Queenstown by the hotel fire. It’s pretty cold outside and I’m glad not to be in the tent! I had some pretty cold nights which makes me appreciate this fire a whole lot more.

      Monday 14 May, 2012
  5. Hi Kenyon,

    Wow, what a fabulous way to end an amazing adventure! Great achievement, Ken! That flag is brilliant – well done, Gordy! That would have been a very special surprise.

    I love the family photo by the car too – just lovely.

    Hope you enjoy your well-earned rest and have a lovely family holiday.

    Well done!
    Fiona xo

    Friday 11 May, 2012
    • Hi Fi,

      We certainly are having an enjoyable and relaxing time here in Queenstown. The snow is pilling up each night on the mountains that surround us which makes sitting by the fire so cozy.

      Bye! See you after your trip!

      Monday 14 May, 2012
  6. Wim and Maria Beckers #

    Hi Kenyon, congratulations, fantastic achievement. Put up your feet proudly.
    Wim and Maria

    Tuesday 15 May, 2012
  7. Hi Wim and Maria! Great to hear from you both! I can’t tell you how much I appreciated your generous hospitality along the way. It was such a pleasure to meet you both and to be shown around your property. I envy your lifestyle of living amongst such beautiful surroundings and with so many animals.

    Maria, thank you so much for cooking a delicious dinner. You have no idea how much a home cooked meal means to someone on the trail.

    Wim, whilst I think you would have enjoyed the hike out of National Park, I think it was a good idea that you put your health first. I enjoyed seeing Battle Ship Bluff which was on the way to “The Bridge to Nowhere”. That stretch of trail was a highlight and I recommend it.

    I’ll be in touch again when back in Australia. I hope all is well with you both. Take care, Kenyon

    Saturday 19 May, 2012

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