Sunday, June 29, 2014

Training/gear testing trip to Wellington

Training/gear testing trip to Wellington 
Having decided to go on a training/gear testing trip I get drop off in masterton where after picking up a few bits of gear and stocking up on food I head for the info center to find out when the next train to featherston is.. Hum the next train is not unto around 4:30- 5pm well there is a few bus's but I like the train better so after spend a few hours looking around town I walk to the train stop where after getting a train ticket ( with the stops hand writing in ? - it's a long time from the last time I saw that being done ) at featherston the weather is wet and windy and yep it's dark so on with the rain gear and head light for the 7 km walk to the doc camp site at bucks road with the wind trying to push me around - leaving town I walk on a tar seal road for a few km where it turns onto being gravel for the last 3 km. getting to the doc site I take note that the loo is tied down with steel cable ( it gets very windy at this campsite ) after setting up my tent I listed to the sound of the wind hitting the tent - good wind test - yep the tent came though the night fine : ) 

Packing up the tent the weather has gotten better as I walk back to featherston with the headphones in on low so I can still hear any cars ( maybe 1 car ever 3 hours on this road : ) back in town I take a  5 min side trip up a bush walk track before heading to a few places in town like the m ( ever time I have past though town in the past it's been close -has a lot of info on the WW 1 training camp/ WW2 POW camp that was just out of town ) leaving town around 4:20 pm I walk out to the start of the rail trail at cross creak 10-12 km away walking the last few km in the dark with the headlight - the last 2 km is a bush track up to where the railway town of cross creek used to be when the rail trail was still in use - the incline railway was replace by a long tunnel in around 1955 after being in use for 70 years .setting up the tent in the dark for the 2th night in a row 

A some what late start as I take some photos around cross creek before starting up the track that leads up the old  1/15 incline rail way trail - the fell trains used I 2th set of driving wheels that griped a rised 3th rail to help climb the 1/15 grade ( the 3th rail was also used to slow the trains on the way down ) the trail winds it's way up the hill though 3 tunnels - near one of the tunnels a train was blowin off the rails around 1880 - the trail there has be washed out in a big storm  a few years after the rail way closed so the trail drops down to cross a stream before heading back up to the old rail bed . It's a nice day for walking - not to hot or  cold and no wind. Stoping at the summit yards for a bit of a break getting some photos before starting down the other less steeper side of the hill stoping a few times before getting to a camp site where after cooking some food and getting some water I head to my tent to do some reading before heading off to sleep 

A windy start to the day as I keep heading down the trail passing over a few brides and a tunnel at the end of the trail I have some road walking on a tar seal road unto I get to the turn off to keep heading down the less? Used part of the old rail way to maymorn passing over a few more brides and one more tunnel before the end of the trail at maymorn where after looking at email and a few phone calls at the train stop I head to a friends place to camp for the night 

Time for the next train ride - I missed the first train by about 5 mins so had to wait about 20 min to the next train to upper hut where after a look around town picking up a few things then back on the train into Wellington where I spend a few hours looking around town and seeing some friends at esnz (horse people ) then on to a bus after 3 pm as no bus's from 9am-3pm ( some bus meting ?) to a friends place where I spend a few days 

- one for the days I do a 20?km day walk ( so no 20 kg backpack : ) along part of the te Araroa trail - around 15 km of the trail is along the city to sea walkway so lots of steps to climb up or down as the walk winds it's way thought the city using a mix of parks footpaths and trails - helps to have a copy of the ta track notes to work from at times around 4 pm I get to the end of the trail in island bay?- the end of the ta trail in the north island heading south - the plan is to be back in Wellington in around 5 months time ( around 2 months unto I start the walk and 3 months walking cape to Wellington ) then got some food at a fish and chip shop - well I was a bit hunger after walking 20 km on one ice cream before getting 2 bus's back to my friends place - also saw the old ( and new) cable cars at the gardens - the ta trail runs though part of the gardens 

Time to start walking out of Wellington on the ta trail - after re packing my backpack I head a long the road unto I get to the place where the ta trail cross the road - the trail drops down to a stream on bush tracks - at one point my camera bag falls off ( it's been doing that a few times a day on this trip ) this time falling down the back about 5-10 m in the bush so after working out the most likely place to start looking I head off track ( with out the backpack ) to find the camera bag - yep is less then a m from where I thought I saw it end up. After retracing my steps I chat to some one for a few mins and work out a better way to stop the bag from being lost then is back on the trail beside the stream until the trail heads up onto a road ( having a reread of the trail notes to make sure I'm heading the right way ) the trail runs beside the road up a hill before heading into a park then back on the roadside until the end of the road where after chatting to some people who was going to be  planting some trees I head up a steep track called bells track up the big hill up on to the skyline walkway up to a big radio mast of some type then the track heads down hill - what comes up must come down some time - lots of people out enjoying the nice sunny day ( a bit windy thought ) as the trail winds down at times I look up at the mast - it's a long down hill walk with the last 2 1/2 km ? Being on the old coach road that dates from 1858 then it's onto a one lane tar seal road for a few km where I stop at a tack shop /cafe and get some food and read the note bord  to see what events might be on : ) then back on the road passing many horse places - I end up chatting to some one who knew of me from one of the horse places that I was at over the years  ( a up side of helping at horse events over the last 10 years or so )as they was leading they horse down the road back it it's paddock - she gives me her phone number to txt her if I can't find some where to camp for the night - well after getting to the place where some one else said to camp only to see a big no camping sign ( some times I'm 1/2 temped to  still camp there and make a fire with some no camping places with the no camping sign : ) so after texting the person I met before I ending up staying in a old school for the night 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Doing the impossible

Doing the impossible

From around the first week of September 2014 I will be taking on Te Araroa trail 
So what is the Te Araroa trail and where is it ?

The ta trail is a tramping trail that runs 3000 km from one end of nz to the other end and takes around 4-6 months to walk it 

So Why am I doing the trail ? And why now 

A few reasons ....

It's been on my to do list for the last few years - many people have a wish list but I have a to do list - it's a list of things and places I would like to do or go to like the 1x ,2x,4x,8x lake Taupo rides and the end to end bike ride or the many places I have gone to in nz ( and some times out side nz ) in my travels 

In the past I was not ready to do the trail - I  have now decide that I'm now ready to do the trail after doing other big trips/ events - each one I have lean from ( some times what not to do : ) 

After spending so much time on the bike it's time I took a break from riding the bike ( don't worry I will be back on the bike after I do the Te Araroa trail ) as at times I get some what tired of all the riding I do ( around 10,000 km a year ) spending so much time on the bike 

Part of it is the time frame in that I need to do the trail in 4-6 months to get back in time for a few horse events also weather ( ie I can't do the trail over winter ) 

After I do the trail I will be spending a lot more time doing horse suff and getting into doing para-dressage so if I did not do the trail now I will not be able to do the trail for a long time as I will be busy doing horse suff : )

Yes I could do the trail in parts over time but that's not how I do things ( all or not at all : ) I did look in to doing the trail in parts but decided to do the full trail in one go 

My Heath is holding for now - at horse of the year my Heath did crash some what badly- that was more to much going on and to many people near me for me to deal with  ( head injury suff ? ) so I'm going to be using 2 walking poles to help keep me walking on the trail and maybe have more rest days then other people do on the trail taking the trail at my own pace and a few other things im looking at so I can do the trail

A big part of doing the trail for me is many ( well meaning ) people have told me that it would be impossible for me to do the trail - that it would be to hard or unsafe for me to try - how dare they try to put limits on me  telling me how I should live my life - people who have no real idea what I have done in life or what I can do - yes I'm disable but that don't stop me living my life the best I can - so many times people are told to take it easy , not to aim high , not to rock to boat ,not to push they selfs trying new things - it's so easy to fall into the same ( easy ) routine never pushing your self or trying new things - I'm aways looking for new things to try and aim for - after the Te Araroa walk is me Leaning how to ride para- dressage : )

My ta to do list

Well I can't seem to get to sleep tonight so I'm working on a to do list for my Te Araroa walk ( well it's better then doing the list in my sleep...  : ) 

My TA to do list 

Pick a group/ cause to help by fundrising along the way - maybe on this trip as I still not sure if I will do it on this trip- partly because so many of the other walkers who do the trail seem to do fundraising along the way as they do they walks 

Set up blog? / Facebook page for my ta walk 

Work on better ways to get the word out about my ta walk ( newspaper / websites - other ways for people to lean about my ta walk ? )

Get trail notes and maps printed out on paper - I think the maps may be A3 size?

Find some where to keep my bike and trailer
Work out to to get my bike and trailer to where it will be stored for when I'm on the walk 

Look into food drops? - how the best way of getting the food on the trail also what food to eat along the way : )

Work out what camera to use on the trail and the best camera bag to hold it ? 

Look into gps - maybe get a better gps as the old one I have has had a hard life - also work out why it's not working right at times ( maybe just the way I set it up ? ) 

Look more into PLB's / spot units - cost is a big part of why I don't have one so far as they are around nz$ 4-500 

Do some test trips to work on some of my bush skills and gear testing - that said I have used and wore out  so much out door gear over the years that I been on the road ( 8 tents,4 sleeping mats , around 5 backpacks ,4 stoves many pares of boots ...) that I could just about work as a gear tester : )

Lean more outdoor first aid - one can never lean to many first aid skills : )

Check over every piece of gear that I will be using on the walk and repare/replace   Any gear that needs it 

Make up a small gear fixing kit to take with me ( like what I use on the bike ) 

Work out how I'm getting up to the start of the track ( at the top of nz ) 

Work out what other e gear ( iPhone , ipad? Kindle?)  and Best way to keep things charged up on the trail ?

This is just a taste of things that need to be done before the start of my walk around the first week of September this year ( 2014 ) 

So many things to do and so little time : ) 

If some one can help me with the things on my todo list or other things to do with me doing the walk - please let me know 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

some where to bluff : )

some where to bluff : )
last day of this end to end bike ride : )
packing up camp i get on the road some what late as i was talking to some other bike touring people for a bit that I met the night before. it's a some what easy ride to the town of lumsden where i full up on water from a motor home dump station (many but not all of then have clean drinking water out a tap(town water) and get some food for the days ride. back on the  road i ride over the last big hill (ram hill) then its mostly down hill to invercargill and bluff - in many places they are road works going on that slow me down some what. passing though winton its the last town with shops ( with a supermarket ) before invercargill . getting into the city of invercargill i leave it as fast as i can - to many crazy cars and people to deal with after being in the middle of nowhere for most of the last 2 months. riding the last 30 km or so out to bluff seems to time for ever. the winds don't help findly i get into the town of bluff - wondering just where the sign post is the end point of this ride - well after a few more km i do find it at the end of the road (the end/start of S.H.1 depending on which way you are going )
and the cape reinga to bluff bike ride for THINK is now done : )
getting some photos down before it gets dark - it was a bit of a race to get to the sign before it got dark : ) I end up chatting to a few people who have driven to the car park - seems people come to this place for many of the same reasons that they go to the cape at the top of nz - getting some one to take a photo of me at the sign post (can be hard to take photos like that on your own with out some way of holding the camera up : ) then its time to work out just where im going to be spending the night - i find out theres a nice camp ground only a few km away in bluff so I head for there for the night 

queenstown to some where

queenstown to some where
leaving queenstown i head along thought the morning rush hour? to frankton where after looking up where the supermarket is I pick up some food for the next day or so of riding . leaving the city behind riding beside the remarkables passing a ski field or 2 along the way before the roads runs beside lake wakatipe - in a few places i stop to look over at queenstown across the lake. with the road rolling over a few hills ( one of the parts on this road is called the devil's staircase ) at the south end of the lake i decide to take a side trip into the town of kingston -home of the kingston flyer steam train - i did stop to have a look to see if it was running but the place was closed up with it looking like the train was being worked on ? so after getting some photos i headed back on to S.H.6 with only a few more hills to climb over with the road mostly tending down hill as i ride south stoping for some food in a few of the small towns along the way and also trying out a few parts of a new (old rail line) cycle trail before finding some where to set up camp for the night