It wasn’t so much that we had the desire and need to prove something to ourselves.

But more a desire to return to something we started back at the end of 2016 – walking the length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa Trail.

We made the decision to postpone the South Island section after completing the 1,600 kms North Island top to bottom.  At the time back then, we were a little jaded and needed a rest – remembering that it followed on from the tandem bike ride having cycled 7,500 kms from one side of Canada to the other.

Us completing the North Island Section of the Te Araroa Trail – 2016

That was then.  This is now.  A lot of chaos has transpired in-between since.  Procrastination and aging, as much as forced reclusiveness over the past couple of years.  Whereas all other life has kept going.

The investment in “the third bedroom” and subsequent escapes onto the backyard has certainly stimulated the reframe needed to get out there and enjoy what we have.  Getting back onto the trail included.  Bring this item on the “Before I Die” list to its conclusion.  Even if in sections.

However, the Richmond Ranges by all the stories shared by those who have done it before, is that it’s the toughest part of the TA Trail.  One must prepare for it as it’ll test you – are we good enough, tough enough, brave enough, smart enough?  How much could we take?  How do we measure up?

And it doesn’t discriminate.

And so, it was meant to be this festive Christmas 2021/New Year’s 2022.

But strewth, just getting the gear and food sorted for the nine days/eight nights was testing itself.

Only time would tell if we passed.

Or failed!