Day 331...Meeting of Many

“Rain, rain, go away, come back another day” is exactly what I thought when I woke up this morning. Weather checked; good at the beginning but bad at the end, so another “no go”! But, to be fair, that was not unexpected. Even so, I had a great feeling that it would turn out to be a good day. Well, maybe I was just trying to be positive!

I read for a little while, then looked out from this amazing vantage point, admiring the ocean that still manages to look beautiful, even when it’s raining. Eventually, the morning clears and, as I had threatened last night to go and do some exercise on the beach below before breakfast, off we went down a huge, black, sand bank instead of walking down the flight of stairs. We did sprints on the beach, said “Hi!” to a cute little puppy called "Bronson" that Anna fell in love with. Then we stopped to chat to another visitor, Paul, who was walking by with a very impressive camera that made our little camera rig look totally pathetic! Back we went to our training regime which, by then, consisted of sit-ups and my daily press-up challenge. All done and dusted before breakfast! Up the sand dune we ran, well half way up, and then dashed back down again, enjoying being just the two of us on this almost deserted beach.

Then we climbed the stairs. What a way to end our morning on the beach! Up way too many flights of stairs. Only when I’d reached the top and got back to Cuzzie, did I realise that I must have dropped my T-shirt, so had to run all the way back down the steps and then all the way back up again. This time, I counted them, 242 in total. Was I ever glad when it was finally over and that it was time for breakfast! But as we sat there, Paul (who we had met on the beach arrived and we all sat in the sunshine in the back of Cuzzie, chatting not only about his photographic world but also his world of ultra running and a great running group called: Good People Run (

What an inspiration he is! It’s really brilliant to meet such like-minded people beach walking and loving the mountains and the hills. We chatted for over two hours, until everyone’s stomach started to rumble loudly and we realised it was time for us all to all get on with our day. Me to answer a number of calls I’d been ignoring, while Anna was face-timing her Dad to show him this amazing view and have a chat. By this time, I had consumed way too many coffees with no food and had a major head spin going on! I just had to eat. Then it was "I must now do"; return calls and reply to e-mails. Fortunately, we had the back doors of Cuzzie wide open absorbing all the sunshine, while still being totally protected from the wind. Just then, a small bull mastiff jumped in, said “Hi!”, checked out every nook and cranny of Cuzzie, then jumped out again, only to return a little later for another visit before heading back to his owner’s car. A crazy, busy, little location now the sun is out.

We also chatted to a wonderful gentleman who stopped and wanted to know more about my journey, before recommending his favourite fish and chip shop for takeaways and giving us $10 towards our takeaway dinner. He was out walking his two beautiful white, fluffy dogs called Charlie and Jasper that Anna could very easily have dog-napped as well. We didn’t venture very far today, at least not until the need to head into the city for supplies got the better of us. Into the museum we went for some free wi-fi and much needed recharging of the laptop. It’s been a wonderful day but we still have more to do because we’re going off with Greg Copeland and Peter to listen to a night of Blues music.

My smiles today:
Some of the best views on the West Coast of the North Island so far.
Meeting so many new and interesting people today.
Sunshine and warmth.
Sand dune running.
The fickle weather further south.
Some incredible e-mails today.
Looking at life through the minds and eyes of younger people, especially my support crew who are so refreshing and inspiring!

My thoughts today:
Call me crazy, but I love to see people happy and successful.
Life is a journey, not a competition.

Goodnight from a very happy Redz NZ Team. Ma Te Wa.