3RY – Part 1

3RY – Part 1 – Day 6

3RY Update Part:

1

Date:

28th January 19’

Day:

6

Title:

Blood Sweat and Aaron

KM Mark Start:

2860

Start Location:

Merrivale Rd and Merriview Hut

KM Mark Finish:

2832

Finish Location:

Birchwood Station

Actual KM today:

29

Weather:

Sunny & hot all day

General:

Trail was via two tracks. Island Bush Walk and Woodlaw Bush Walk and farm land.

Fantails accompanied me through both of these. Plenty of deer and wild pig sign around.

Met a character at Birchwood Station. He is a war vet that has filmed and produced a documentary, has his own port and beer labels, has recently completed a commissioned mural on the RSC in Gore, was involved in the release of a song dedicated to those that have served and is an MPI wild game meat supplier. His war stories were amazing and hard hitting. A real character I’m really glad I met.

Body/Health:

Feet are a problem. Bleeding all day.

Outlook:

Positive – You know you live in an amazing place when the scenery continues to impress you after 38 years.

Tune of the Day:

Colossal – Wolfmother

Day 6 Images:

3RY – Part 1 – Day 5

3RY Update Part:

1

Date:

27th January 19’

Day:

5

Title:

Mud, Sweat and almost Tears

KM Mark Start:

2888

Start Location:

Martin’s Hut – Longwood Forest

KM Mark Finish:

2860

Finish Location:

Merriview Hut on Merrivale Road.

Actual KM today:

30

Weather:

Rain, Sun, Rain. Warm

General:

Through Longwood Reserve on Longwood Range, via an abandoned quarry, onto Bald Hill and down to Merrivale Road.

The reserve is surreal and movie-set-like. Enormous, contorted, moss and lichen covered trees. Moss carpets the ground. So many shades of green and types of fungi.

Started the day face first in knee deep mud.

Overall the trail is lot more physically demanding than I ever expected.

Body/Health:

Feet are properly shredded. Blisters under, on and between toes.

Outlook:

Positive – fingers crossed I can sort my feet out.

Tune of the Day:

Paint it Black – The Rolling Stones

Day 5 Images:

3RY – Part 1 – Day 4

3RY Update Part:

1

Date:

26th January 19’

Day:

4

Title:

Martin the absolute punisher

KM Mark Start:

2918

Start Location:

Colac Bay Tavern/Campground

KM Mark Finish:

2888

Finish Location:

Martin’s Hut – Longwood Forest

Actual KM today:

30

Weather:

Rain in patches, warm all day

General:

Holy shit balls… I almost didn’t make that.

The trail follows the Riverton Highway, onto Round Hill then through Longwood Forest, alongside Ports Water Race.

Historical Gold Workings are scattered in various places along the trail.

A memorial bench in honour of the Inaugural Trustee of Te Araroa Southland Trust is found here too.

The end of the day was waaaay harder than I expected. I suspect it’s the previous days catching up on me and today’s effort combined.

Steep muddy terrain made the going tough in the last 5km. I went off trail with a cunning plan to take a short cut, big mistake LOL. Dense bush with a heavy pack is a bad combo.

Fell over multiple times, with steep slopes and muddy conditions.

Made it to Martins Hut via Ports Water Race, onto Cascade Road then Turnbulls Track.

Martin’s Hut was Built in 1905 by Fred Mason to house a water race maintenance worker used for the gold mining operations.

Started in the top bunk, spotted a number of large spiders staring me out, went to the bottom bunk.

Body/Health:

Knackered & blisters.

Outlook:

Loving it, hopeful my body will gain some trail fitness quickly.

Tune of the Day:

B.O.B – Outcast

Day 4 Images:

3RY – Part 1 – Day 3

3RY Update Part:

1

Date:

25th January 19’

Day:

3

Title:

Last day of South Coast

KM Mark Start:

2932

Start Location:

Aparima/Riverton

KM Mark Finish:

2918

Finish Location:

Colac Bay Tavern/Campground

Actual KM today:

24.5

Weather:

Overcast, intermittent rain, strong winds @ times.

General:

Some truly epic scenes today in Mores Reserve and Colac Bay. Can see Stewart Island and the other Foveaux Strait Islands from the look-out in Mores Reserve.

Day started from Riverton Anchor in the Historical Whaling Port. Then up through Mores Reserve, across private farm land via Tihaka Beach Track and around the coast to the quaint Colac Bay.

Encountered the biggest, most vibrantly colourful and fiercely territorial Tui I’ve ever come across today.

Found a fully functioning Cressi speargun washed up on the beach…Yoink!

Body/Health:

All good, a little sore but nothing too bad @ all.

Outlook:

Positive. Enjoyed the day and looking forward to some backcountry trail.

Tune of the Day:

Scooby Snacks – Fun Lovn’ Criminals

Day 3 Images:

3RY – Part 1 – Day 2

3RY Update Part:

1

Date:

24th January ‘19

Day:

2

Title:

Tussocks, sand. Tussocks, sand ….tussocks, sand… tussocks… saaaaaand, tussocks. Sand.

KM Mark Start:

2963

Start Location:

Historic Waihopi Bridge, Stead Street, Invercargill.

KM Mark Finish:

2932

Finish Location:

Aparima/Riverton

Actual KM today:

36

Weather:

Windy, cold, rain intermittently throughout the day

General:

Stoked my body allowed me to get out of bed, albeit very slowly.

Most of the day was spent walking the length of Oreti Beach on hard sands with stretches of loose sand and rounded pebbles.

Standard coastal wildlife spotted along the way. Shags, Blue Bottle jelly fish, Oyster Catchers and impressively large Horse Mussels (Do we eat these? If not, why not?)

I was offered my first lift today in the middle of a downpour and as hard as it was to say no, they understood when I explained my goal of completing the journey self propelled.

People were using the beach for collecting seafood, motor bike riding and horse riding.

A few estuary crossings along the way but nothing too deep.

Ended up walking through the waves as the tide came right up to base of the sand dunes.

Sand in shoes = shredded feet.

Body/Health:

Generally pretty good. A few moments of calves cramping and shoulders seizing up.

Outlook:

Daunted by the challenge ahead but positive.

Tune of the Day:

All Caps – Madvillain

Day 2 Images:

3RY – Part 1 – Day 1

First 7 days of the ‘3 Reasons Why’ Project –

Te Araroa.

Apologies they can’t be more frequent. The locations with mobile reception are few and far between!

Waxing lyrical is not my forte so I’ll keep these updates brief.

I’ll post additional snippets of the journey and frequently asked questions on Facebook and Instagram.

3RY Update Part:

1

Date:

23 January ‘19

Day:

1

Title:

Baptism by Drowning

KM Mark Start:

3000

Start Location:

Lands End Bluff

KM Mark Finish:

2963.5

Finish Location:

Waihopi Bridge, Stead street Invercargill

Actual KM today:

36.4

Weather:

Bitterly cold, heavy rain all day, strong winds

General:

I couldn’t have picked a worse day to start! Bitterly cold, raining all day, with gale force winds.

Day 1 – Step 1 started at Lands End Bluff and the obligatory photos under the street sign pointing to various locations around the world, including Cape Reinga, my ultimate goal.

The journey started around the Bluff Hill/Motupōhue Reserve, a rugged, southerly exposed coastline.

The flora and fauna within and around the reserve is impressive. I was greeted by Tuis, Bellbirds, Spoon Bills, Oyster Catchers, White Fronted Terns, Stewart Island Shags, Gannets and Fernbirds, amongst an abundance of other bird life. A small pod of Hectors dolphins joined me as I made my way around the headlands.

The trail lead me over the Millennium trail and back into Bluff to make my way up the Bluff Highway (SH1), all the way to the New River Estuary Cycle Path which then lead me to the Historic Wharf on Stead Street, my final destination for the day.

I said at the start of this update, I’d picked the worst day to start, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I expect half the fun/challenge of this trip will be dealing with what Mother Nature throws my way.

Special thanks to my send-off crew (Ma ‘n Pa) for dropping off a steaming hot, triple shot coffee while I was battling down State Highway 1! I really needed that.

Body/Health:

My legs were seizing up by the end of the day. Don’t think the cold helped, soaked through to the bone.

Outlook:

Shocked…Harder than I ever expected. But still super stoked to be here.

Tune of the Day:

Sugarman – Rodriguez

Day 1 Images:

5 thoughts on “3RY – Part 1

  1. Jo Bell

    Mike awesome to read about the experiences both good and bad! I especially like the story about the guy you met in the hut. Just do me a favour and don’t take any more short cuts … if you are anything like Dad it’ll take you twice as long to get there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Mike love catching up with your progress both good and bad! The photos are stunning too. Loved the story about the guy in the hut and hope that there are many more interesting characters along the way. Do me a favour and don’t take any more short cuts though … if you are anything like Dad it will take you twice as long to get there!

    Liked by 1 person

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