11.15pm Petone as the cyclone Lusi hits (gale force winds and lashing rain outside)
It’s beginning to but i don’t think fully sunk in that I have achieved my first major challenge of finishing the North Island Te Araroa walkway. It’s hard to describe the feeling as there isn’t one overriding emotion I can relay to you but lots of them together. There is certainly relief that I finally made it to the finish today as it was looking doubtful with both the weather and the state of my knee, there’s also a strong feeling of accomplishment that I have taken on such a major challenge and succeeded when I doubted myself and others probably doubted me too, theres a sense of gratitude and indebtedness to all the people I have met on my journey and those I know at home who have been so positive in their support towards me, there’s a sense of weariness in not being able to say its over as there is still the small matter of cycling 1400km to achieve my target. This is growing as a daunting prospect but one I am more confident in fulfilling having now succeeded with the big walk!
After Chris has left my side it was great not to be alone and to spend the first part of the walk with Christine, Felisa and her boys,Pablo and Marcos, and then to have Felisa’s company for the last leg, the “City to Sea walkway”. It was also fantastic to have a welcoming party when we finally arrived in Island Bay where Barry, Pablo, Marcos, and Felisa’s Spanish friend Ines and her family were all waiting.
Felisa and Christine have been absolutely wonderful in taking me in and making me feel part of the family, it’s been great to be in a family environment with the day to day matters of home life all around ( homework, getting ready for bed, stories, playing music, all helping make dinner etc). Christine and her boys, Sam and Joel, also came round tonight for a Spanish/Kiwi meal of Seafood Paella and Pavlova. Delicious!
Barry has been showing me his amazing inventions including his hand crafted canadian canoe which he has created from scratch from nz western red cedar wood and eucalypt and is a fully functional piece of art! He has also invented his own waterproof cycle panniers made from plastic “buckets” which are amazingly practical. He has also made a lot of furniture in the house and has lots of other projects up his sleeve. He certainly seems to be maintaining the Munro family pedigree as his Dad’s cousin was Burt Munro,of the legendary “worlds fastest indian ” fame.