Day 367...One Year

Thursday 27 October 2016

Today is exactly one year since I started out on this incredible journey, one year since I paddled away on this epic adventure. On that very first day, I just focused and that’s how I have been for the past 367 days (well, mostly!). To try to summarise these days at the moment is way too difficult to put into my daily blog. I have tried hard to dig deep inside my brain to find a few sentences that could sum up the past year but, at present, I have to confess that I don’t yet have it in me to adequately describe those 366 days. Of course I have words, but these words are far too insignificant; they look more like a bad game of Scrabble than something more meaningful. All I can say is: "Wow!" "Thank you!" and "Keep dreaming." Also, incredibly: “It’s not over yet!”

Thank you to people who called and offered their congratulations. To my friend B, thanks for remembering when I departed on this mammoth journey, who posted on Facebook "This is my mad mate!" What did I do on this special day? I stayed grounded and focused on the task ahead. To me the celebration is still a long way off so it was duties as per normal. Weather check and re-check, and Google map coastline re-check. Then, as a “thank you” to this really dedicated camper-van (Cuzzie), I set about spring-cleaning the entire inside because Cuzzie surely is the rockstar of this trip. 35,000kms travelled in the past year. My stats that I have recorded (and will be happy to share on completion of my journey) are nothing compared to the roads travelled by this camper-van. Also an enormous “Wow!” and the hugest thanks to my dedicated half-crazy support crew. Many days they have to drive a damn long way. Oh, and we have seen a fat amount of this countryside now (apart from some of the middle bits). Will I cycle or hike them on another journey? A resounding “NO WAY”!

With Cuzzie smiling from the inside out, I went on a great quad bike ride with Grant from the Kawhia Campsite, along the black sand beach at low tide, to the mouth of Aotea Harbour, past all the people sitting in deep sand pools who have discovered the hot water streams under the sand at low tide on this section of the beach. We then wandered along the sandstone rocks and the Kawhia "swimming pool" was pointed out to me. It’s the biggest rock pool I have ever seen! In summertime, I’m sure that many kids enjoy this natural water feature. Did I swim in it? No, it was still a tad too cold!

Today has predominantly been a day to think, to get jobs done and also a day during which I have silently in my mind tried to thank every single person who has in some way been helpful or supportive, who has shared their knowledge, laughed with and at me, fed me, watched me cry, given me a warm meal, a roof over my head, and the list keeps on growing. These people and this country are the incredible ones; the ones that have made me who I am after one year on this unforgettable odyssey. It would be an injustice to try to single out any one person in particular. I would most certainly forget or miss out a moment or a person or a place, so this is why I can only say, as already mentioned, "Wow!" "Thank you!" and "Keep dreaming."

My smiles today:
366 days of nomadic life. Wow!
366 days, and all the new people who have made it so special. Thank you!
366 days, each one with a special moment and at least one smile.
What an incredible journey. "Keep dreaming."

My thoughts today:
If I stop and ask myself, "Really, what is one year out of my life given over to living a lifetime’s odyssey? Only a mere blip!” So you know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them!

Goodnight from Red and Cuzzie. 

Ma Te Wa.


Snippets of my past year.