I have managed to fill in my time by working on combining the maps, trail notes and resupply notes into one document. I figure it will make navigation much easier not having to switch between the map and the trail notes, some of which do not match exactly on first reading which could lead to confusion when I am exhaused and not thinking straight at the end of a long day. This has been a fun way to really get to know the trail and help with some of the logistical preparation. More importantly it has given me something to help ease the fustration of having to wait to get started. I have posted all of these on http://tawiki.org/wiki/navigation.
This fustration is even more apparent now we have people on the trail. Every morning I eagerly check facebook to see what the TA Trampers have been up to. Unfortunately not many people walking now are doing a blog so there is not a lot of information but that is starting to change and some of the more active people on social media will be starting soon. Of the tramers out there I particulary like the blog from Glen and Sherren glenandsherren.blogspot.co.nz which is a good mix of information about the trail and how they are finding their experience.
There has also been some excellent work to help with compressed trail notes, reformated maps and GPS files. Check out facebook Te Araroa and Tearoa 2014-15 groups which have some great information. A special thanks to Judith Hubert who is doing some great work getting information out to this years trampers, Ken and Rob from the Te Araroa Trust for the great Maps and Trail Notes and Jorg Flugge and Joe Delphine for compressing these trail notes.
As for my physical training that is a short paragraph as there has been none for a variety of legitimate reasons as well as a bit of laziness. I just do not feel like doing the same 2km circuit over and over again which is all I am allowed to walk/run in Kinshasa for security reasons. I am going to have to take it really slowly for the first couple of weeks to compensate for the lack of training. One area of physical preparation I am doing well in is creating a weight buffer.It is well known that weight loss is an issue on long distance tramping so I have used this as an explanation for why I have gained weight recently and most people seem to be buying it!
On another front I have been really surprised by the number of people reading this blog. It is now over the 1000 mark so thank you all for your interest. I think this is a great indication of the number of people getting interested in the Te Araroa Trail which is great. I hope more people take the oppourtunity to challenge themselves and see some of this amazing country.
My next post will be from Dunedin, New Zealand around 22 October. It will be nice to be home, and especially nice to be out of a country where there is an Ebola outbreak, though thankfully contained a lot better than in West Africa. Tramping 3,000km freaks me out a lot less than the though of getting a disease with a 50% surival rate. I am definately counting the days until I fly home.