Words by Tribe member Adele-Ivy Harris
After being in Nepal last year during the earthquake, the imbalances of the world were evident. We had the opportunity to leave to continue travelling when others had to stay and rebuild their lives. We decided to use that opportunity to raise as much money as possible to rebuild schools in Nepal.
Carl Hutchinson came up with the idea... "We could just walk the entire length of New Zealand?!"
I said YES!
And last month WE MADE IT!!!!!! 193 days and 1800 miles from Bluff to Cape Reinga
Strong memories from the last 6 months were played over as we neared the end. Summer days starting out with the burning sun nearly defeating us, the first intense uphill where Carl hit a brick wall and struggled on, feeding on sugary chocolate, the road walk towards Mavora Lakes where I nearly fainted and we took breaks every 20 minutes sweating still in the shade, Breast Hill Track, the first time weighed down with 7 days of food with tears all the way up, so overwhelmed by the hard work ahead. And the blisters. So. Many. Blisters.
We laughed at the difficulties of the first 6 weeks when the vast difference in our fitness levels and walking speeds caused frictions (which never lasted more than 5 minutes), and laughed once again at all the stupid things laughed at a million times before. Then reminisced about the moments of complete satisfaction, complete happiness, complete joy at the connection we've gained with the nature once so foreign but became our home. Dips in crystal clear mountain rivers refreshing our tired bodies, the feeling on reaching the top of a peak that's been the focus all day, the magical forests, fiery sunsets, the roaring stags. We had fallen in holes, fallen in rivers, and fallen in love with the raw beauty around us. And there is just far too much to say about all the kind-hearted people who have enriched our lives, each teaching us valuable life lessons.
Cape Reinga came into sight - with the lighthouse signifying the end of this journey which began 15 months ago with the earthquake in Nepal - and emotions came flooding through. We so wanted to run, but forced ourselves to walk, to absorb. And then we were there, the finishing line, and with tears mingling Carl asked me to marry him.
1868 miles walked
193 days since setting off
£8900 raised Himalayan Trust
1 question popped (I said yes!!!!)
We began as novice hikers, and ended with the feeling that anything can be achieved, as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other.