Ward > Blenheim > PICTON > Wellington!

11 Dec

Ward  > Blenheim > PICTON > Wellington!

Day 24 – 23.3 km/14.5 miles later…

This leg was both short and, sadly, it was the last time I would see some great scenery until the North Island.  Luckily, the North Island was only a couple days away and the anticipation of returning to Wellington was building.  The segment was initially coastal, then turned inland brought me to a place called Ward, a tiny town of a couple motels and cafes.

Day 25 – 46.1 km/28.6 miles later…

Blenheim!  I arrived to Blenheim in the afternoon of November 22, to the warm welcome at the house of Rose and Phil Bradfield, a chill comfortable home in the north-eastern part of the city.  Rose was immediately hospitable allowing me to promptly do laundry and shower, for I was in desperate need of both :-).  Eventually the rest of her family trickled in.  They were all very welcoming and carried a carefree, confident demeanor, making it easy to converse and immediately share an interesting interaction.  Philip, the father of their family, was quite an interesting fellow.  He works for the Department of Conservation and is constantly outdoors hiking, camping, hunting, and enjoying the beauty of NZ.  He is very knowledgeable about his country and showed a true passion for the role he serves as a conservationist.  I was able to pick his brain about possible equipment upgrades and it was great to discuss my North Island route with someone with extensive knowledge of the country.  Huge thanks to the Bradfields for letting me stay for the night and for being such gracious hosts!


Day 26 – 28 km/17.4 miles later…

And finally to PICTON!  This was the last bit before I finished the South Island and it was almost like the South Island didn’t want to see me go.  Ridiculous 30-40 mph winds were against me with rain the whole time I was running.  Rough, but it wasn’t going to stop me from catching my ferry to Wellington.  NO WAY :-)!!!!

A fantastic friend of mine, Carrie Lynch (you will see her a few times in this post, for she has been very helpful and generous), was there to pick me up from the ferry terminal and took me to a hot shower so I could come cleanly into the Wellington for a well-needed rest.

Day 27-32 – Rest!!!!

I decided that I needed a solid break in Wellington if I was going to complete my country-long goal of over 1200 miles, so I stayed a week. It was a bit of a homecoming, for I had lived there for 3 months before starting my run.  I lived in a house with 7 other Kiwis and made several amazing friends during my time there.  It felt great returning to somewhere familiar and to faces that I wasn’t seeing for the first time.

First, huge thanks to Carrie and her flatmates, Sarah and Neil, for allowing me to crash at their awesome flat during my time in Wellington.  It was super relaxing and they were hospitable and supportive throughout.

Second, a shout out to Radiant Health Centre, for granting me some treatment for my Achilles tendon, my misaligned hips, and aching back, that have plagued me on and off during my run thus far.  Richard Rust, the head therapist, was very helpful and also clued me in on some not-so-common knowledge of how B Vitamins are empirically proven to reduce cholesterol build-up in the cardiovascular system, and the intake of these is crucial in overall well-being.  This is quite interesting news, because this is a very inexpensive way to help oneself maintain a healthy heart.  It’s disappointing that the public is not well-informed about this simple way to help yourself.  When I arrived, he had all this information readily available to share with me, with numerous reputable sources supporting the research.  Certainly an eye-opening experience I will pass on and never forget.  Thank you, Richard, for being very helpful and generous.  And, of course, another thanks to Carrie for hooking this up.

It was great to see all my Wellington friends including: Jonathon, Amy, and Hamish (thanks for the arrival Malaysian dinner J), Blair, Charlotte, Liz, Davros, Samantha, Matty, Davy, Liam, Tim, Carin, Sven, and Siobhann.  Thanks for going out of your way to see me and give me some encouragement!  It means a ton!

My time in Wellington was so necessary and it was perfect to get my mind and my body refreshed for the rest of my journey.  It was so comforting to get a taste of normality again.  It was humbling to see how much I took normal life for granted.  Coming back made me appreciate face-to-face deep conversations with close friends, or wasting away hours playing video games with my buddies, or walking the water front and enjoying the sun, instead of trying to hide from it after running in the sun for 6-7 hours a day.  I started the North Island with a rested body and a renewed soul, with ambition and motivation to take on the second island of my journey.

Stay tuned…still got 10 days of the North Island to catch everyone up on…  Be sure to check out all the pictures on the facebook page and Like it if you haven’t yet: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Give-Phil-5/144617748933460

Big Cat


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