Day 10: Road walking

Road waking has its own


A.steady cadence

No need to look at

Where feet touch the ground

Clear      still

early morning air and sky.

With some reverence

and regularity

I step onto the berm

When occasional cars

Pass either or both ways

Heavy trucks carrying milk or oil,

Rumble for a while

then thunder past.

Car tyres hum their own tune,

Giving wide berth

to three solitary walkers

In a close or spread out line.

The zoom of motorbikes

taking the centre line

because they can.

Then ZAP! an insect’s near-collision

with my ear.

The chatter of friends behind me

muffled by distance

gained through different walking pace.

Treasures found and left on the verges

Bottles, plastic wrappers,

a most good-looking spoon

the body only of a tiny

toy police car

a car mat


Other lives

Intersecting with mine

For brief and fleeting



Day 8 – a day of rest

Zero day

For body and mind

Understood as vital

Even amongst the sustenance

Of simply walking

Why am I still surprised

At how this nourishment


Then slowly seeps

Some more

into all the little


Of my frame

And soul

Craving silence



Creative movement


Even after having fallen into

A comfortable rhythm

Of packing



Eating our simple tramping food



Pitching tents

Setting up home for the night



and more walking,

Soaking up the

Breath-taking beauty of

Blues and greens of the Sounds, of the hills and mountains surrounding us, the trails, tracks, paths, walkways  lined with full flowered flax, white kanuka clouds, beeches, ferns in all shapes and sizes, fresh white daisies and pink foxgloves

Accompanied  by fantails’ excited chirps and dances, bellbirds’ haunting chimes, tuis’ cheeky chortles and swishing wings, an occasional lizard, wood pigeon, even a wild goat familk of four, no six, and the ever present cheeky weka, who stole my sunglasses on day one, we think

The face that looks

Back at me

From the mirror

Is fresh



Vibrant and


With so much fresh air, deep sleep, sunshine, invigorating exercise, and satisfying achievement of simple physical being



This day’s pause

Is a soothing balm

Softening the edges

Of a very different life

Of recent times

Song of School Camp Bay


On a solitary seat

The Bay sings

to me

splish     gurgle      splish


gentle swishing of leaves

in the breeze

a buoy bobbing

on emerald blue

bellbirds everywhere

squeaking youngster weka

searching for treasure

by the tents


excited by the big



provided for breakfast

by its mum.


Held by the still

surrounding hills

far and near



Day one on the trail

The walking has started, we’re on our way. A maelstrom of memories for day one; accompanied by gently lapping waves of Schoolhouse Bay, the first stop on Queen Charlotte Track.

Departure from Auckland

Rushed, like the many months

That went before.

Em and Boris gone in a flurry

Too rushed      for a proper farewell

Packs wrapped and ‘fragile’

Plane             to Blenheim


Bus                       to Picton

Mail-run ferry           to Ship’s Cove

On go the packs

Photos galore in any



of the first step

on our Te Araroa.


AUT angels

Are blessing my dream

Michelle  (at Piha beach on Christmas Day)

Charmaine (ex-student on the plane)

Emily (year one student at Ship Cove)

Random ex-student wearing AUT sweatshirt on the track!

Tentative relationships beginning to form

Grappling with

Logistics of backpacking

And living

A walking life..

Where is my (anything)?

Everything in and out of the pack

Unrolling and rolling drysacks

Who wants to do what?

How shall we do money?

How shall we walk?

How do the tents work?

Who carries what?

How does modern technology

work with all this?

There’s a softness between us,


and slowly it seems we’re easing into

who we are together.


Moving on the earth

Moving with an extra

16 kg on



I notice

my body      feet    hips   back

We need to stop earlier tomorrow