January 15th, 2016
Sometimes you have to plan but it’s always good to be flexible. Today was one of those times. I’d planned to make my way to Hahei (Coromandel Peninsula) today to meet a rather remarkable person. However, as it turns out, we are both terrible at planning and organisation, so that didn’t happen.
I mention in my bio that I hope to find a proactive role to play in animal welfare. One of the ways I am exploring to do that is to walk with my dogs between all of the SPCAs in New Zealand (Google Maps- to get an idea of the scope) as well as opening the experience up to other animal welfare organisations, such as rescues, other shelters and animal sanctuaries. The goal: to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the welfare industry and encouraging prevention rather than problem management. Another important goal is to raise funds for the organisations.
I had already identified several issues with my proposed journey, such as the fact that I’d need to be aware of my dogs’ (one of whom is a senior citizen) health and ability to complete such a trip. Other things such as permissions, legalities, what involvement with RNZSPCA and its affiliates was desirable and what they’d expect of me if I did it… Lots of other stuff too, including equipment and how best to carry it. I’d settled on the idea of a kind of rickshaw based on this guy’s design (YouTube video) of a bike trailer/camper. The pros of this were many. Such as the ability to stash Piccolo (my dog) when he was flagging, less stress on my thoroughly use up back and the ability to carry sponsor logos. The cons, as far as I had figured are really only maintenance and restriction on terrain.
Needless to say, this is a fairly sizable task and I thought I’d best consult the experts. Who’s an expert in walking thousands of miles all around New Zealand you ask?… Wildboy.
You can read more about Wildboy here (blog website). His name is Brando Yelavich and he has a book entitled “Wildboy: An epic trek around the coast of New Zealand” (book/order information). In summary, he walked (and kayaked in places) around the coast of New Zealand in 600 days becoming the first person to have done so. After reading his book, I realised there may be a few things I hadn’t thought of that I could learn from his experience. So I decided to contact him.
Anyway, we’d arranged to meet and chat but we stuffed up and it wasn’t going to work (won’t bore you with the details). I decided to see if I could stay with my aunty in Hamilton since it was right on the path to my first WWOOF in Waihi.