Brad departed for Doubtful Sound and then no word for six days. A very quick e-mail placed him in Otautau last evening. He's departing early this morning, with two other through trampers, Charles from Sydney and Arnaud from France, with Invecargill in their sights. They have two days of forest tramping before they come to Invecargill, where Brad plans to spend two days, and then he heads off for a day's tramp to the finish line -- Bluff. As he draws close to completing his Te Araura Freestyle adventure, I find my excitement growing, along with sadness that his adventure is coming to a close.
|In and around Otautau. Is there ugly countryside in NZ?|
I guess, technically, if Brad wanted to get to the southern most tip of NZ he'd need to drop down onto Steward Island, but that's not part of the Te Araroa Trail, so he finishes in Bluff, with a huge shit eating grin, I hope. I wish, like when he was a little kid reaching the finish line, I was there to greet him. But I know he knows, I am standing there, albeit about 7,000 miles away, cheering and beaming with pride.
Before flying away from NZ on April 30, Brad still hopes to climb Mt. Aspiring. So although the Te Araroa adventure is almost over, NZ is still promising challenges to the very last moment.