Day 318...Too Cold

Thank goodness for my months of being in the South Island because, even though it was five degrees below in Taupo this morning, I still managed to rock around in my jandals for the first few hours of the day. As usual, I was awake far too early (pre-6.00am) so I got up and went for a walk about the campsite. It was still calm and it was cold, but this town is always cold. As I remember from when I used to live here in a much earlier life! We used to have a fire going from Easter until Labour Weekend and, sometimes, until later in the year as well. I tried hard to keep busy and away from Martin to avoid waking him up. I always warn my support team that I often wake early, but mostly they say it’s not a problem. But I’m sure they just say that to be polite and then suffer in silence.

Very soon the wind picks up and there are white caps all across the lake. The clouds hang low over the mountains and for sure it’s been snowing. It’s back to three layers of leggings and even Martin is in socks and shoes today! I studied the weather, while Martin organised a deal on a small vehicle for him to start his trip of the South Island in the next week or so. But, for a while, we are going to be a road show, with two cars and extra crew travelling along the coast. The deal duly done, off we went to get his car and organise the paper work. Thanks to New Zealand being such a small world, with its two degrees of contact, I discovered I even knew the people who had sold the car to him! Thanks for giving him a bargain, Phil and Nancy!

After all this was done I needed food, so we drove to Huka Falls where we sat quietly eating, before walking a little way out along the tracks. Then it was back to our vehicles and, although it was tough convincing myself to get out of my warm clothes and into a wet, rather cool swimming pool, I headed off to get a few lengths done, while Martin went to do some solo sightseeing. We meet up again in a freedom camping area by the lake and, as the sun goes down, I do my push-up challenge on the cold, wet beach, hoping that I don’t get caught out by a bigger than normal wave!

By then it was getting cold, so we put the gas heater on for a little while in Cuzzie, cooked dinner and settled down to read some good books. Today has been tougher for me than I would have liked and there have been moments when...well, let me just say that I want you all to know that, some days, I have to dig deeper for motivation than others, to look for a reason to keep going on, to find answers to my internal "why's" and “what if’s”. Furthermore, let me tell you that, sometimes, my answers don't come nearly quick enough! This is the furthest inland I can cope with going in the North Island at the moment. It would be oh so nice to go back over to the East Coast and enjoy a little respite but, to my mind, it wouldn’t be good for me. The East Coast will be reached again when I have achieved the rest of this hard paddle. It will be my crazy reward to myself. Until then, I’m glad it’s cold and rugged here. That’s what I need not only to keep myself honest but also to keep this journey of mine really alive.

As I swam today my mind wandered, mostly about the need to get going and to get home. As the days stretch on and endlessly on, so my personal budget is getting stretched thinner and thinner. As some of you may have seen, I have applied for an AMP "Dare to Dream" Scholarship and hope that everyone who sees it will please “click” on it to vote for me. (
Financially, it would be of tremendous help if I were able to receive such a grant from them. For, as you all know, I have most certainly dared to dream of circumnavigating New Zealand by kayak in an attempt to draw attention to the amazing work being done by the Mental Health Foundation, to all those who work for it one way or another, as well as all those who benefit from it. Along the way, people have often asked me how I am funding my trip, especially now that it’s taking me so much longer than planned. Well, actually, the honest answer is that this journey is now entirely self-funded and, as time drags on, financing it is getting harder and harder. If anyone feels they can assist in any way, can I please ask for just a little help. I truly hate asking but, there it is, I am at last putting it down in writing. The "Givealittle" charity page helps me and my support crew to keep going on this last very slow and painful leg of my journey. (

I have only 23 paddling days left to complete my dream. But Mother Nature has to be kind enough to accord me the weather conditions to get back on the water. If you think you might be able to help, then all I can say is I owe you a huge “thank you” and hope that, somehow, somewhere, I will be able to “pay it forward” in some way. Hopefully, some individuals or, perhaps, even some businesses, will be crazy enough to believe in me as much as I believe in myself! At the same time, I also have to say a huge “thank you” to everyone who has already helped me along the way by supplying products, for donating to the Mental Health Foundation and for the continuing support from all my original supporters. You all are rock stars, that’s for sure.

My smiles today:
Jandals when it’s less than five degrees.
Back to wearing three pairs of leggings today.
This mind game of mine.
Reading the words “pay it forward”.
Feeling able to ask for help at last.
The sound of waves as I go to sleep.

My thoughts today:
Never be afraid to admit you need help. To ask for someone's support or advice is a sign of strength and courage. (I had to read this many times before I felt able to ask for help but, now that it’s out in the public domain, I feel stronger).  

Goodnight from Red and the support crew. Ma Te Wa.

P.S. Also please consider making a donation to the Mental Health Foundation. (

Huka Falls. It never disappoints. 25 years since I last visited.

Huka Falls. It never disappoints. 25 years since I last visited.