Thursday, December 27, 2007

First Steps

Olivia has managed to get a letter out to me, Sarah, with her first scribbles. Here it is...

Written by Olivia on Day 10 (18 December, 07) in the Cobb Valley.

It was such a busy time leading into the start, lists as long as my arm and a head full of thoughts. It all accumulated into a 2500km road trip over 5 days, getting everything in place. And such a sigh of relief when the last drop was in place. Then all I had to do was walk. It's been so lovely to breathe out as I walk.

So the 9th December was Day 1. I was dropped at the end of the road at Wharariki, put my pack on, said farewell and started walking. My head was spinning and I found it quite hard to believe that this was it. My reality is now simply just to walk south. Found a lovely campsite by the ocean and went exploring.

It took a couple of days to walk into the journey, conditioning my body to carrying a pack and conditioning my mind to see the reality of the situation. But the further I walk, and the more time spent, the more comfortable I become and it all feels right to be out here.

The journey so far has already been a challenge. It's day 10 and 10 days of rain, drizzle and clouds. I have just walked over the Douglas Range (Dragon's Teeth area) over the last five days and the visibility has been on average 20-50m, with only the occasional clearance to see a little bit further. It's certainly been a good test for my navigation. It was quite interesting walking, narrow ridge tops covered in rocks or stunted goblin forest and thick off track travel through steep valleys.

I so love to be on the tops and discovered that my way of knowing this area has not been through the normal paths of visual images but instead has been through the other senses, developing a real feel of what this place is like.

Great to have a more technical section in more challenging weather so early in the trip, as it has required more than just following a track. Route finding, fitness and experience have been needed. I think that I've passed all my first tests. Checking in with myself that this experience, this journey is the right one to be making for me, for now. So far, so good, and not only just "surviving", but realising that these moments out here are what I love about being in the outdoors and about life. The real adventure moments, the focus, passion, joy and contentment that I feel, just being able to live like this and to attempt to do what I'm doing. It's nice to be here, and its nice to walk. I'm walking my sacred path.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And On Towards The Wangapeka.

Have heard from a 'source' that Oli just left the Cobb valley this morning. Completely on schedule and everything going really well. She will be heading up some cool river valleys in the next week, and in some pretty mint weather - the Wangapeka and Karamea Rivers. Bronwen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

..And So The Journey Begins!

This is Bronwen, bringing you the first wee update of Olivia's Journey. Oli spent the evening with the awesome couple who run the Naked Possum Cafe in Collingwood, apparently talking and drinking wine late into the night.. and with a staunch cup of coffee this morning, has headed into the amazing wilderness that is Kahurangi National Park. Beautiful!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

joining me

please leave a message in these comments if your thinking of coming in to join me, just so others can see what's going on....but then again it might always be just me and max the monkey eeep.

have a look and see where others maybe coming in, if you can't post on the blog then email bron as she might know. If it looks like i've had a couple of people back to back please let me have some time on my own as it is essentally a solo travel, but would love company sometimes, and food drops are always a way to say hello if your in the country somewhere.

From the greenstone track (day 80) there's no real option of joining me apart from seeing me in Te Anau as I've got my mother coming and I want to explore fiordland on my own ..however a welcoming party at the end would be lovely just to help me integrate back into the world again.

Monday, December 3, 2007


and so I'm in wanaka, on the big road trip getting everything into place for the start of the journey, I seem to be on track for the 10th december start date, so pleased to have finished most of the logistics of it all, and I'm over packing boxes right now. For the entire time I've been organising this trip I've really appreciated as well as being blown away by the generosity and enthusiasm of people and companies that I've met along the way and have helped the journey take place. A big thank you to Shane at mountain hardwear, Gwilym at Cactus, Arthur from backcountry cuisine, Summit Gear in Katoomba, Michael and Nathan at Bennets Printing in Katoomba, to the whole crew in the bluies for putting up with me only talking about this journey, and to the numerous people in New Zealand helping me with food drops and logistics. Thank you everyone!!!