So its 10pm on December 29th 2014 and we’ve just cruised up the length of North Island, New Zealand to arrive at Cape Reinga lighthouse after spending Christmas with Sharlene’s family. Sharlene’s dad is with us as he offered to come up with us and drive the car back south. This is not part of our carefully drafted plan for approaching NZ’s greatest long distance challenge of over 3000kms. The original plan was to spend the evening in a comfortable hotel room going over our equipment and plans before a leisurely departure after a fortifying and healthy breakfast. We hadn’t made any bookings and everywhere was booked out.
Fortunately, we had been planning this trip intensively. We had plenty of food, all our gear and all we needed to do was fill our water bladders and say our goodbyes to civilisation and comfort as we knew it.
So with a mounting sense of excitement we set off south into the night.