Feilding > Hunterville > Taihape > Waiouru > Turangi

15 Dec

Day 38 – 19.1 km/11.9 miles later…

It was a short day from Palmerston North to Feilding so I left in the early afternoon to arrive around 4:30 PM to the household of Carl and Karla Hesseltine.  The house was bouncing with their three boys, Ashton, Boston, and Kingston.  It was a fun relaxing evening with a wonderful steak dinner in their quiet, laid-back area in the outskirts of Feilding.  They were all very friendly and supportive, giving me contacts for later in my voyage and referring me a sweet phone app (Viber – GET IT!) that makes it a ton easier to get in touch with people overseas.  Anyways, despite being a short day, it was a chill stop with a nice family and good rest for the next leg.  Thank You, Thank You to the Hesseltines for hosting me in Feilding!

Day 39 – 45.4km/28.2 miles later…

I was off by 7:45 AM to the next stop, Hunterville.  I wasn’t expecting a proper roadside cafe stop when I started this day but I was lucky to come across a conveniently placed cafe 25 km from Feilding and it seemed to miraculously appear just in time to get me out of the rain/projected thunder storms.  I still got rained on in the second half but it only lasted for an hour and a half and it was more fun than annoying as the day eventually warmed up and dried me off.  Got to Hunterville and came across a trucker who passed me and mentioned it in the bar of the motel where I was staying.  It sparked a few other conversations and I ended getting a $10 donation from a sweet woman sympathetic to the cause.

Day 40 – 47.3 km/29.4 miles later…

Ended in Taihape this day and was discounted on my room for the evening at the Gretna Hotel.  The receptionist was very nice and asked about my origin and what possessed me to do what I am doing.  I explained it and she helped me out immediately.  It was a quick stop other than that, and I was off in the morning to my next stop.

Day 41 – 29 km/18 miles later…

Waiouru: This day was short also, for it was the calm before the upcoming Desert Rd. and the longest trek of my run thus far.  Waiouru was pretty quiet which was nice to settle myself and mentally prepare for the next day.

Day 42 – 64.2 km/39.9 miles later…

I woke up early to face the 64.2 km and the Desert Rd.  Leading up to this, everyone I mentioned this leg to, gave me a crazy eye, expressing how they did not envy me in this task.  Yes, it was quite far, and yes it was hot, but it turned out to be my most scenic and exciting run yet!  I was psyched to rage the day and took it without hesitation.  Even though most of you have probably seen the pics from this run, I suggest you do if you have not on the faceboook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Give-Phil-5/144617748933460).   It started with some small rolling hills covered with dry lands and thirsty plants but then opened into the Tangariro National Park, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most treasured.  The latter part of the day offered windy roads, with great valley views and lush river banks.  It was a mini-triumph, to get to Turangi that evening and it gave me an encouraging feeling of encouragement.  The northern region of the South Island had me second guessing my ability to complete this challenge, for injuring my ankle and Achilles clouded my confidence.  But after this run, my heart felt free and it lifted my spirits with feelings of true exhilaration and drive to further push my limits.  It was great to surpass my prior personal best and to feel stronger after, rather than weaker as I did in the South.

The day ended at the home of Johanna, a super-sweet couchsurfing host.  She welcomed me with a meal and allowed me to kick back, do some laundry and carry some enthralling and culture-sharing conversation.  She had some great stories and showed true passion about meeting travellers and helping them along their way in foreign land.  She has hosted over 500 travellers in the last 4 years and has organized several highly successful events bringing people from all over the world to Turangi for her exciting events.  A huge shout out to Johanna for being a fantastic host and treating me to a fine bed, dinner and breakfast!

Another week down and another blog posted…be sure to keep on checking the daily facebook page pic/comment updates…Thanks for reading!

Big Cat


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