Thursday, April 19, 2018

New Zealand and UK 2002-2003

Weeks 1-3

Pre Travel Article
I am flying to New Zealand November 14th, 2002 to start the next section of my walk around the world.

So far I have walked 8591 miles across the USA, Southern Europe, Mexico, and Central America. I still have another 20 to 30 thousand miles to go across Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, Northern Europe, and possibly Antarctica. Every week I write an article about the people I meet, the trouble I get into, the local culture, local plants, animals, weather. You can read all my articles and see photos at my web site www.walkingman.org . I use a Pocketmail portable computer (www.pocketmail.com) to write and transmit my articles from a pay phone anywhere in the world. You can email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any questions or comments.

I push a three wheel baby jogger (www.runaboutstrollers.com) loaded with tent, sleeping bag, short wave radio, food, water, camera, clothes, flashlight, computer, and miscellaneous. Usually about 60 to 100 pounds. Every night right after sunset I set up my tent just off the road and get a good nights sleep. Up at sunrise, I break camp, mix up some cold instant coffee and start walking. Usually I average about 25 miles a day, with 38 miles a high, and 4 miles a low. I take frequent rest stops, stops for groceries, swimming breaks, and talk to locals whenever they stop to ask me questions. Lot of nice people stop to talk, give me food and water, and sometimes invite me in for a meal. I usually eat about 6000 calories a day of yoghurt, granola, oranges, apples, bananas, cookies, bread, about a gallon of sun tea, 2 cups of coffee, and a pint of ice cream.

Last year I used Teva Circuit Walking Sandals and Teva North Rim Hiking Boots. I only got about 2000 miles out of the sandals before I wore though the sole. This year I bought some Chaco sandals, they have a Vibram hiking sole which I think will last longer. I prefer walking with Sandals as they keep my feet from overheating and are more comfortable. I use Udderly Smooth brand bag balm to keep my feet from getting blisters.

I will be working here at Wahweap Lodge in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona, till October 15th. Then I will be driving back east to visit family and friends in my home town of Newfane, New York. Anyone that wants me to give a short talk on my world walk to schools or clubs please email me.

I will be flying into Auckland, New Zealand on November 14th. Walking north to the tip of the North Island, and then south along the east coast. Taking the ferry to the South Island, then south along the east coast to the tip of the South Island. Then north along the west coast through the mountains and back to Auckland. At 25 miles a day it should take about 10 weeks for both islands. I will then be flying to the United Kingdom to spend 6 weeks walking through England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and back to London. Then back to the USA to work and plan my next walk.

Lots of people ask me why I am walking around the world. I tell them I am doing it for fun, adventure, exercise, and a cheap way to see the world. Every day I get to see the sun rise and set, meet lots of nice people, and get lots of great exercise. Some people ask me how I got the idea to walk around the world . I used to bicycle around the world, but after seeing the movie Forrest Gump, I decided to switch to walking.

I am writing a book about my walk and trying to get it published. I welcome any help from anybody that can help me find an agent or publisher. Everything I have written so far is on my web site, with photos also.

Ready, Set, Go!

Walkingman's 1st week across New Zealand.

Auckland, New Zealand to Te Kuiti, via Hamilton.

11-15-02 to 11-21-02, 131 miles, 17mpd, 8722 Total World Walk miles.

On the road again, glad to be walking again. After 2 days on the plane with recycled air, my throat was pretty sore. My left leg was also sore; I seem to have bruised or pulled a muscle a couple days before I left. Not serious enough to cancel or postpone my trip. Sunny and 70 outside the airport, so I took about an hour to set up my baby jogger, and started walking south. I had planned on going north to the tip of North Island, but with sore throat and leg I did not want to deal with the big city of Auckland. When I make it to the tip of South Island, I will probably catch a bus back to Auckland and walk north for a couple weeks till I have to return to airport.

Weather and people have been really nice so far, sunny and 70 a lot, or light rain and 60. Kiwis seem to be the friendliest people on earth so far. Lots of people waving, beeping, stopping to chat, giving me food, and inviting me home to stay overnight. Only been here 7 nights and already stayed 3 nights with locals. Nothing better than a hot shower and a home cooked meal after a long day walking. Several police stopped to see if I was okay, or needed anything. One gave me a nice bright green safety vest he had extra.

Terrain is mostly rolling green hills, with lots of pasture for sheep and cattle. Some fields of corn, hay, and still lots of forest. I stopped at Kirks Bush, a nature preserve of original native forest. Very quiet except for a few birds, nice break from the road noise. A couple from Australia joined me at the picnic area and shared their lunch with me and gave me some nice road maps of areas they had just came through.

Days are getting longer now, 6am till 8:30pm of sunlight. Usually when I walk in the winter the days are getting shorter, but it is summer down here in the Southern Hemisphere, so I have a lot more daylight to walk in. Took it easy the first week on account of my sore leg and throat, only averaged 17 mpd. Feel better now, so I have started doing 25mpd. Would like to see if I can set a new record for miles in one day on the longest day, the summer solstice, I think it is December 21st. My longest day so far is 38 miles.

Got to help out with a cattle drive one morning. The people I stayed with one night needed an extra hand to drive 6 cows across the road and down to the loading pen. They took me out to dinner at a real fancy restaurant at the Waitomo Caves Hotel the night before.

Been interviewed twice by local newspapers and by a man who writes for a Norwegian travel magazine. Be interesting to see if I get a bunch of emails from Norwegians in a couple months.

My baby jogger is working great, no problems. I have about 2 gallons of water and usually 2 days worth of food on it. No problem finding my regular diet of yogurt, granola, fruit, cookies, bread, and coffee here at the local stores. Exchange rate is pretty good now; American dollar is worth about 2 New Zealand dollars. Lots of picnic areas, and rest stops where I have been pitching my tent for the night. Every town has public bathrooms in the center of town.

I have been wearing my Teva running sandals and Chaco hiking sandals every other day and comparing them. So far they are real close, Tevas are a little softer and just a little more comfy. But the Chacos have a better vibram sole, so they might last longer. Will have to see how they feel and wear over the next 4 months.

Till next week, I am headed south for Wellington and the south island. Any questions or comments email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Keep On Walking.

Walkingman's 2nd week across New Zealand

Te Kuiti to Wanganui via National Park.

11-22-02 to 11-28-02, 168 miles, 24mpd, 8890 Total World Walk miles.

My leg and throat are all better now, so moving right along and enjoying myself. Amazing how many people are stopping to talk, giving me food, and inviting me home for a stay over. Three road workers hailed me over one morning for a hot cup of coffee and they gave me whole sack of bread, donuts, pizza, and sausages; must have been all of their lunch.

One couple gave me a local grapefruit, quite sweet, almost more like an orange. One couple having dinner in a cafe hailed me over to join them, and the owner insisted on making me a special pasta dish on the house. Then when I said I was going to pitch my tent across the road in a picnic area, she insisted I camp in her garden.

I just went through a long stretch of about 50 miles between stores through the Tongariro National Park area. Mt Rampehu at 9000 feet was still half covered with snow. Ski resort is closed now as it is spring, so all the flowers and blossoms are out now, very beautiful. I have been buying enough food for the long stretches, but always seem to come out with more than I started with, because of all the people feeding me.

Still lots of sheep and cows, and I see planes spraying fertilizer on the grassy hills. They have a truck at the airports with a cab at both ends and a big crane and loading hopper on top. The planes land and the truck drives over to dump in fertilizer in about a 30-second turn around time.

The cows here seem to be real frisky. Every pasture I go by they run over to see me and jump around and follow me along the fence. Not sure if they have something to tell me, want to come along, or can smell the Udderly Smooth bag balm on my feet and hands. The calves are in the fields playing instead of chained to little huts and drinking milk like I see in the USA. The sheep are easily startled and usually run when they see me.

One lady pulled over and invited me into her home for lunch. Nice big plate of sprouts, salad, veggies, meat, bread, peanut butter, and a coffee with a scoop of ice cream, great lunch. She called the local principal and asked me to give a talk to the students at the Kakatihi school. I camped in the playground and gave a talk the next morning. Students always seem to be interested in my walk and have lots of questions about how I do it. I always try to tell them how important it is go out and experience life, have an adventure, get some exercise and not just sit around and watch TV and play video games.

Listened to James play some Maori tunes on his harmonica in the town square at Wanganui. He was in his wheelchair and playing to get a bit extra spending money.

I was going through a central hilly area, but now I am down on the coast and going through the flat areas. I can see the mountains off to the east. Should be pretty flat all the way into Wellington.

Till next week I am headed south on route 1 for Wellington and the south island. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any questions or comments. Thanks to all the people emailing me, always glad to hear from people when I am walking.

Walkingman's 3rd week across New Zealand

Wanganui to Seddon via Wellington and the ferry to South Island.

11-29-02 to 12-5, 161 miles, 23mpd, 9051 Total World Walk miles.

I was hailed off the road at Foxton by two ladies to chat. They invited me in to share their Christmas party dinner buffet for the Lonsdale Hospital. Roast beef, chicken, veggies, potatoes, salads, and dessert. Great Christmas dinner. Also given a take away plate of turkey dinner by a man just returning from a Thanksgiving dinner at his American relatives. Have not had a single day in New Zealand where at least one person did not given me food or invited me in for a home cooked meal, real friendly people.

Stayed with the Rapana-Watai family at Ratana Pa, a Maori village. They showed me around town and into their Temple. In the morning they had me give a talk at the local school. The students all sang a beautiful Maori song for me and then the art students had me pick out one wood block painting to take with me. I also stopped at the Turakina Maori Girls College to give a talk; lots of questions. Then they all sang and danced a beautiful Maori song for me and invited me to tea. Actually, dinner of fish, chips, salad, and ice cream. Never had 60 beautiful women sing and dance for me, pretty cool.

Had a couple people stop, get out of their car, and walk with me for a while. I usually let them push my jogger for a while. They are always surprised how easy it is. One lady said her daughter called her since she was always saying she wanted to load up her baby's pram and walk New Zealand. One man stopped who had been paralyzed in a accident and was just slowly getting the use of his legs back using a 4 wheel scooter he had built and was setting up a company to market them at www.slida.2ya.com. Makes me appreciate my health and good fortune to be able to walk around the world.

Stayed in Wellington with a friend working on special effects for Weta Digital on the Lord of the Rings movies. He showed me the Weta studios and director Peter Jackson's new house. He invited me to the movie opening or staff screening, but still two weeks away, so I will keep on walking; will see it when I return to the USA.

Walked around the Te Papu museum in Wellington for a couple hours. Lots of neat stuff on New Zealand history, Maoris, native plants, animals, geology, white immigrants, and a couple Maori canoes like the ones used to sail the Pacific Ocean. Big Blue Whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. Real big weki(grass hoppers) here, I saw one on a car that was 3 feet long, just a model though. Real ones as big as 6 inches. Lots of unique animals and plants here that have been isolated on the islands and evolved into unique species.

Camped in a small park overlooking a Penguin nesting area in Paekakariki. Could not see any Penguins though. Returned to the main road on a steep dirt path with several steps, and was bit on the ankle by a mini dog; that surprised me. He actually bit the bandana I wrap my money and credit cards in, and then tie around my ankle, so no harm done.

Saw a nice big two-wheel cart outside a veggie store. Four foot high wheels, and lots of shelf space for a ton of produce. Balanced real well, easy to push even though it must have weighed 300 pounds, and 1000 fully loaded at least. I saw quite a few still being used in London produce markets.

Lots of encounters with good, friendly cops checking to see if I was okay. Only one bad encounter; near Tawa I could not find the local road and got on the motor way. No sign saying no bikes or walkers so I kept on. Good cop stopped and explained how to get on local road, then 2 minutes later angry cop stops and gets real mad at me and calls me stupid. When I try to explain what last cop said he calls me a liar and says he should give me ticket with instant fine and court appearance. Some how he changed his mind and let me go. Said he would come around soon and make sure I got on local road. When I got off there was a no bike and walker sign at entrance, which is exit for me since I walk facing traffic. Usually if they do not want you on the Motor way they clearly mark where you should go, since this is a heavily bicycled area, but not this time.

Best way to deal with police is to be polite and follow their orders. The worst thing to do is argue or be rude. Things always turn out better if you react positively in most situations as opposed to negatively. Whenever somebody yells or gestures something bad at me from a car I give him or her the peace sign, even though my initial impulse is to respond in kind.

Till next week I am headed south for Christchurch on Route 1 along the East Coast. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any questions or comments.

Weeks 4-6

Walkingman's 4th week across New Zealand
Seddon to Christchurch, via Kaikoura.

12-6-02 to 12-12-02, 170 miles, 24mpd, 9221 Total World Walk miles.

Starting to see some nice sunrises and sunsets now. Up to now it has been either cloudy or too many hills and mountains in the way. Caught some real nice sunrises over the Pacific Ocean while I was camped on the beach. Lately I have been walking southwest right into the setting sun. Pretty hard on the eyes till it sets, but then I get all kinds of nice reds, oranges, purples, and blues.

Walking down the east coast of the South Island on Route One. Along the coast for part of the way, then inland and over some hills. Passing through the flat plains now with hay fields and pasture for sheep and cows. I can see Mt. Cook (about 10,000 feet) and a few other mountains with a little snow on top. Very windy lately, 15 to 30 mph headwinds and sidewinds. Almost got blown over as I crested a hill. My hummingbird spinner blew off and broke 2 wings. Lots of nice windbreaks planted along the fencerows. They use a big truck with crane and 20 foot arm with 5 big rotary saws to trim the pine tree hedges down to about 15 foot high and 4 foot wide.

Only one really cold and rainy day so far. Stopped early at hostel in Kaikoura to take hot shower, dry clothes, and soak in Jacuzzi spa. Only $16 NZ, $8 US, and they include free veggie soup for dinner. Got to watch the making of Lord of the Rings 2 on TV. They showed a few of the locations they shot at in New Zealand. Tried to get on the Dolphin Swim boat, but they were all full, will try a couple other places later. Seeing lots of nesting sea birds and seals.

Two bikers stopped to talk and showed me their copy of Peddlars Paradise, by Nigel Rushton. So I picked up a copy, lots of info on every road, town, and supplies available.

Bought a loaf of bread and a pound of butter to eat with my free soup. Took me 3 days to finish off the butter. First on my bread, then spread on my cookies. Never thought of spreading butter on cookies before, but you can use just about any food as a butter delivery system. Bread, potatoes, corn, lobster; can't imagine eating any of those without butter. I will have to write a diet book titled Lose 20 pounds on the Walkingman's diet of 6000 calories a day and 25 miles a day walking.

Interviewed by Frank Goldingham of www.walkingnewzealand.co.nz , a NZ magazine. Also saw my picture on the front page of a newspaper in a plastic bag lying in a driveway. Borrowed it for 5 minutes to read the article.

One man stopped to chat and gave me a sweet juicy pint of NZ strawberries. Three Koreans and a Slovak stopped to chat, walk with me, and give me 5 apples. Trucker going up hill slowly leaned out to throw me a nice orange.

Having a great time walking New Zealand. Nicest country I have visited so far.

Till next week, I am headed south for Dunedin. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or comments. Keep on walking.

Walkingman's 5th Week Across New Zealand

Christchurch to Hampden.

12-13-02 to 12-19-02, 189 miles, 27 mpd, 9410 Total World Walk miles.

Into Christchurch where I was hailed over for breakfast with a local woman. While we were having OJ, egg mcmuffin and potatoes on her tailgate, a newspaper reporter joined for a chat. They gave me good directions on how to find the city center square. Nice plaza with a concert going on, and arts and crafts vendors. Talked to 2 Mormon missionaries from Utah. Stopped to get all my hair and beard cut off, always feels good and easier to keep clean.

Went over the Selwyn river, not much water, but almost the whole river bed was covered with beautiful orange and yellow flowers waving in the wind. Lots of bushes cover the hill sides covered with yellow flowers. The farmers brought over gorse from England for hedge rows, and it spread all over the country.

Ran out of sugar for my sun tea, a quarter cup of sugar and one tea bag in a 1.5 liter plastic water bottle. I usually drink 3 to 4 a day, keeps me walking all day, little bit of caffeine and sugar. First house I stopped at filled up my sugar bottle for free. One couple stopped to chat and gave me a jar of honey from their own bee hives. Been dipping my cookies in the honey. Been hailed over a couple times as I pass by the local pubs. Usually I just have a cup of coffee and chat awhile with the locals. I only like to get high on exercise, the human body releases adrenaline and endorphins to make you faster, stronger, and endure pain better.

My squirt gun was stolen near Waitaki Bridge by two teenage girls in a yellow Honda. They seemed nice, but when I had my back turned they grabbed my squirt gun and roared off. Have not really used it, all the dogs are tied up, fenced in, or on leash.

Have not been able to pick up BBC or VOA on my short wave radio so far. Mostly listening to Radio New Zealand for the news on the AM band. Anybody that can look up the frequencies for BBC and VOA at 6am and 9pm in NZ send me an email.

Stopped at a Salvation Army thrift store in Oamaru and picked up a nice wool vest, some knee socks, and a book to read. Because of the depleted ozone layer over the Antarctic you have to stay covered and protect your skin from the sun. Even some of the horses down here wear canvas coats to protect against skin cancer. I wear a big brimmed hat with big bandana underneath to shield my neck and ears. Long sleeve cotton shirt, black bicycle shorts, and knee socks. So the only skin exposed is my knees and back of my hands. Still have my white bed sheet sun poncho, but not hot enough lately to wear it.

Road has been pretty flat lately, still lots of pasture for sheep, cattle and hay. Pretty hilly around Dunedin, and since I could not walk on the motorway I had to take all these detours straight up hills and around the long way on bike paths and side walks.

Well, till next week, I'm headed south for Invercargill. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or comments. Keep on walking.

Walkingman's 6th Week Across New Zealand

Hampden to Papatowai,

12-20-02 to 12-27-02, 155 miles, 22mpd, 9565 Total World Walk miles.

Along the coast now and into Dunedin. Lord of the Rings 2 was starting just as I passed movie theater, so I went in to watch. Always been a big fan of Tolkeins writings ever since I read all 4 books in 7 days when I was 17. Those books and working with the Old Grey Goose at Camp Kenan are the two things that influenced me the most to travel and have adventures. Movie was great, shot in New Zealand, so lots of beautiful locations. Found a book with directions and photos of all the locations. I would like to return with my bicycle and ride all over NZ with the Peddlers Paradise and Rings book sometime in the future.

Tough road for walkers coming out of Dunedin. Route 1 turns into a motorway, so they send walkers and bikes on paths up and down and around the long way. Missed a turn outside Fairfield after I had a nice dinner with local family. Going straight up a steep hill with the setting sun right in my eyes blinding me. Man stopped to chat and told me where I should have turned way down at the bottom of the hill. He invited me to stay at his new straw bale house he had just finished building. Beautiful bathroom floors and counters. Black concrete with colorful crushed abalone shell embedded in the surface. Even when I make a wrong turn or get in trouble, somebody helps me out and something good always comes of it.

Stopped at a nice picnic area by the Pacific Ocean. I waded in up to my knees, a little to cold for swimming though. Seeing lots of surfboards on cars, and I found a wetsuit on the shoulder. Gave it away to a vanload of Brazilians that stopped to talk.

Real nice sunset as I walked into Milton. Two ladies came out of their house to chat and invited me to stay. I wanted to keep walking and watch the sunset though. As I stopped at a small park on the edge of town to camp another lady came running up to me out of breath. She had seen me passing through her window and wanted me to stay at her Bed and Breakfast as her guest. Great hot shower, soft bed, and nice big breakfast in the morning.

Two American couples stopped to talk on Christmas Eve and invited me to the Hutchison dairy farm for their Christmas gathering. Great people, great food, best Christmas I have had in a long time. Got up at 5am to watch and learn from Harvey and Charlotte how to milk 220 cows. Big rotary merry-go-round that the cows stepped into stalls. Harvey put on the suction milkers, and 5 minutes later Charlotte took them off. Then we went around with lots of milk to feed the calves from buckets with rubber teats. I learned how to fold paper origami swans from Bird for Christmas dinner. Treated to some wonderful bagpipe playing by their son Anthony. They all gave me presents and a card with some nice notes on it. One saying was "there are no strangers, just friends we have not met yet". Always nice to meet people when traveling and be taken into their home as family.

Till next week, I am headed west for Bluff, the end of the road on the South Island. Then I take the bus back to Auckland where I started so I can walk up to Cape Reinga, the end of the road on the North Island. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or comments. Keep on walking.

Weeks 7-9

Walkingman's 7th Week Across New Zealand
Papatowai to Wellsford via Bluff to Auckland on bus and train.

12-28-02 to 1-6-03, 160 miles, 23mpd, 9725 Total World Walk miles.

Off the main road now and through the Catlins Forest area, on a local road. Quieter road with less traffic, and no trucks. Twelve miles of gravel road where I talked to quite a few bicyclists and had lunch with a family on the tailgate of their truck.

As I walked along a river with lots of fishing camps and trailers, one man came out and explained the whitebait fishing going on. Tiny fish they net as they swim upriver from the sea to spawn. I used to do it with my Uncle John during the summers I spent at the family farm on Cayuga Lake in New York.

Into the town of Bluff, end of the road on the South Island. 1051 miles and 46 days from Auckland. Big sign at the end of the road with distances to South Pole 4810 kilometers, New York 15008 k, London 18958 k, Cape Reinga 1401 k.

Took the bus back to Auckland so I can walk up to Cape Reinga, the end of the road on the North Island. Three days on the bus and train, with a stop each night at a backpackers hostel. I spent New Years eve in Christchurch at the city center listening to local bands playing. Hot shower and early to bed though. Stopped in Masterton to visit David and Lesley Esau. I met them last summer while working at Lake Powell, Arizona. I recognized their NZ accent and when they found out I was coming to NZ, they invited me to visit them. Helped David restore his 1937 Nash automobile (just the right runningboard).

Put my baby jogger back together again at the Auckland train station and started walking through the city. One hot sunny day, then cloudy, cool, and rainy for 3 days now. A woman stopped and gave me a hot thermos of coffee one cold rainy morning, just what I needed. I started singing zippity do dah, zippity day, oh what a beautiful day, plenty of sunshine coming my way, zippity do dah, zippity day. The sun usually comes out sooner or later whenever I sing that song. Been filling up that thermos at stores whenever it is cold. Everybody has these quick electric thermal water pots to heat water with.

Another women stopped to talk while I was hanging my wet clothes, and invited me to her home for a hot shower, dinner and a place to stay for the night. Before I could make it to her house another family invited me to coffee and cake on their porch. Always get lots of invites on rainy days for coffee or a stay over. Just as I was coming into Helensville the Wilson family invited me to their family barbecue. Fish, potatoes, salad, veggies, and soda.

Lots of traffic heading back to Auckland after the holiday weekend. One cop stopped and suggested I walk with traffic. I convinced him walking facing traffic is safer. I can look at every driver and make sure they are aware of me, and jump out of the way of anyone too close. So far all the drivers in New Zealand have been pretty considerate of me.

Till next week, I am headed north on Route 1 for Cape Reinga. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or comments.

Walkingman's 8th Week Across New Zealand

Wellsford to Coopers Beach via Paihia.

1-7-03 to 1-13-03, 152 miles, 22 mpd, 9877 Total World Walk miles.

Still raining for a week now, even though I keep on singing zippity do dah. Nice cool rain though, not cold. I prefer a cool rainy day to a hot sunny day for walking. Easier to keep warm then cool off when it is hot out.

My Oakley sunglasses blew away and got either run over or stepped on. Found them in 5 pieces and was able to put them back together again.

Stopping for fish and chips just about every day now. They are filling, delicious, and cheap. About $4 nz ($2 us) for a big piece of fish and scoop of chips wrapped in newspaper. I like reading the newspaper while I eat, usually a couple days old.

Lance McClure, one of the good cops that talked with me back near Tawa stopped again on his vacation to talk. Yashu a Japanese bicyclist that I met down south stopped to talk again.

Stopped in Kawakawa to use the famous Hundertwasser public toilets. He was a famous eco-architect that lived in the area. He used local materials, stone, tile, glass bottles, pottery, and help from local students and residents. I walked right by them looking for the toilet sign, thought it was entrance to craft shop or cafe. I reached the end of town and had to come back and ask directions. Nice looking building, quite different than the usual metal or plastic building.

Stopped in Paihia to take the Swim with Dolphin boat. No luck finding a pod of Dolphins to swim with, but had a nice swim anyway.

Heard about a guy that made Dove handmade shoes in Russell, so I took the ferry across and visited. Nice soft leather shoes and sandals. No walking shoes in my size, but I bought a nice pair of sandals.

Till next week, I am headed north for Cape Reinga. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or comments.

Walkingman's 9th Week Across New Zealand

Coopers Beach to Te Karae via Cape Reinga,

1-14-03 to 1-20-03 187 miles, 27 mpd, 10064 Total World Walk miles.

Headed north up the final stretch of road to Cape Reinga, the northern tip of New Zealand. Road is a little quieter, with hardly any trucks and just a few tourist buses. Quite a few people stopping to talk and take photos. One couple stopped and gave me some fish they had caught and smoked, wrapped up in newspaper. When I opened it up, there was my picture on the back page. A reporter had interviewed me a couple days ago.

Greg Yelovich and his dog came out to talk and invited me to stay at his dairy farm on the way back from the cape. He told me a little bit about the dairy industry and gave me a tour of his farm when I came back and stayed overnight. Took a nice hot soak in his Jacuzzi spa.

The last 12 miles of road to the Cape were gravel. Pretty rough and dusty. I had to wet down a bandana and tie around my mouth and nose for when cars went by. Big lighthouse where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet. Another road sign with distances to far away places. Very important spiritual place for the Maori people, they say the spirits leave the island from here.

I sat down to write a bit, and a seagull hopped up on my leg looking for a handout.

Sixty days and 1350 miles across both islands of New Zealand so far. Only one week left before I fly to London to walk across the UK for 6 weeks.

Stopped at the Kauri Kingdom store to see the spiral staircase carved out of a Kauri tree. About 15 feet high, and 10 feet wide with the stairs inside the trunk. The Kauri trees are similar to the Sequoia trees in California. Sixty feet high and 15 feet thick, not to many left though. I am headed down the West Coast to the Waipou forest where they are protected.

As I was walking into Te Karae one evening, 3 kids stopped me to talk. They came running back 2 minutes later to invite me in to the Guest farm hay crew BBQ dinner. About 20 men drinking beer and eating mutton, steak, veggies, chicken, fruit, cake, and ice cream. Mere and Clare helped me set up my tent in the backyard, and then I had a nice hot shower to finish a great day.

Till next week, I am headed south for the Auckland airport and my flight to London, UK. I had some problems using my pocketmail computer in the UK. So after January 27th, if you send me an email, send it to both This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Weeks 10-13

Walkingman's 10th Week Across New Zealand
Te Karae to Kaihu and then Auckland by bus.

1-21-03 to 1-27-03 93 miles, 23 mpd, 10157 Total World Walk miles.

Had a nice long uphill walk into the Waipoua Forest where the giant Kauri trees are protected from logging. Cool misty drizzly morning felt real nice as I pushed higher and higher into the hills. Lots of switchback turns with dense rainforest vegetation on both sides of the road. Had a hot bacon and egg pie at the parking lot food trailer. Short 5-minute walk into the forest where Tane Mahuta, the largest Kauri tree in NZ was. About 60 feet high and 15 feet thick, with over 300 species of plants growing in its branches. Most were cut down over the last 300 years for lumber and masts for sailing ships. They are similar to the California Sequoia trees, and have a special bark that flakes off when climbing vines try to hold on. The road was built right next to quite a few and has holes drilled into it so the rainwater can drain down to the roots.

I stopped my walk in Kaihu and caught the bus to reach the Auckland airport in time for my flight to London, UK. Stopped in Paihia to visit some friends I had made. Jacqui Knight had emailed me about her ride on a horse across NZ. Had a look at some of her photos and her book. You can read about her ride at www.bitbybit.co.nz . I also stopped to say hello to Chantelle Jenkins, who had seen me walking and emailed me to talk. We talked a bit outside of her office, and she brought out a nice breakfast of crackers, cottage cheese, tomatoes, and chocolate for me.

On the way south I stopped at Warkworth to visit Janet and John Rogers, friends of the people I stayed with for Christmas at a dairy farm. Had a nice look around their place where they had over 160 varieties of Bamboo, and other plants and trees. Nice dinner and lunch with some of their family and friends. Caught a ride down to Auckland with one of their friends that was a sailmaker on one of the Americas Cup sailboats. Nice walk south to the airport, where I packed up my jogger for the flight to London.

Had a great walk across New Zealand. 1555 miles in 66 walking days. Friendliest country I have been to so far. Lots of people stopping every day to talk, give me food and drink, and sometimes invite me to stay. Looking forward to returning to NZ in the future with my bicycle and Peddlars Paradise book and do all the side trips and roads I missed. Maybe I will be able to find a Kiwi wife to share my travels.

Till next week, I am flying to London, UK. Will spend 6 weeks walking around southern England, Wales, and ferry to southern Ireland.

Walkingman's 1st Week Across United Kingdom

London to Chichester via Brighton.

1/28/03 to 2/8/03 119 miles, 17mpd, 10276 Total World Walk miles.

Arrived in London, UK, after a 26-hour flight from Auckland, New Zealand. Sunny, windy, cold day, 45F/8C. Twenty-mile walk into central London, where I stopped to visit a friend for 2 days. Walked around the city to see some of the old buildings, churches, and museums. Real nice section in the Museum of London on the Roman period 2000 years ago. They had a working model of a mechanical water well bucket machine. They had found parts of it in a 2000-year-old well. I saw a movie of traffic on Tower Bridge from 100 years ago. Lots of horse carts, buses and one man weaving in among traffic pushing a three-wheel cart similar to mine.

Walking south for Brighton and the south coast. Snow and ice have frozen traffic around the city. Only 1 inch of snow on the ground, so I had no problem walking the sidewalk. Lots of commuters stuck overnight in their cars due to accidents. I guess the snow melted and re froze as sheet ice. Big hullabaloo in the papers about gritters not getting out early to prevent it. Almost sounds like the government will fall. The media in the UK seems to go overboard on everything to sell papers.

Stopped at the Purley fire hall and joined the picket line to warm up by the fire barrel. The fire fighters brought out a cup of coffee and filled up my thermos with hot water. That thermos I was given has really come in handy. Filling it up twice a day for hot tea, and it lasts till 6am for my morning instant coffee. Cold coffee is okay in warm weather, but lately it has been freezing every night, -2C/28F. I have a good tent and sleeping bag that goes down to -9C/15F, so I have been nice and warm at night. Only 9 hours of daylight though, so I am not walking as far. Have to spend about 14 hours in my tent, too dangerous to walk in the dark. Been listening to the news and music on my short-wave radio to keep entertained. Also have a candle to keep the tent lighted that I was given at Christmas when I was at the Hutchinson Dairy Farm in New Zealand. Always reminds me of the friends I made and good time I had on Christmas.

I guess New Zealand spoiled me, because I do not think I will ever find a friendlier country. A few people have stopped to talk here in the UK, but just too many people here. They have 70 million to New Zealand's 4 million, for about the same amount of space. People tend to be friendlier in the rural areas, where you see fewer people.

Chris stopped to talk and gave me directions. He told me to stop at the Pye Comb golf course and have a cup of tea. They gave me a nice cup of tea, filled my thermos, and wrapped up a ham and tomato sandwich to take with me. Had a nice chat with some waitresses on break by the fireplace. Just what I needed on a cold, windy day.

Climbed up over the South Downs to see the Jack and Jill windmills. Two big Dutch style windmills about 40 feet high. One was being lived in, and the other was open for tours on Sundays only.

Question from Haley Dimon of Newfane, NY. She wants to know about school kids in New Zealand. They get December and January off for summer vacations, as the seasons are reversed. Some go to school on the bus, bicycle, or walk. Quite a few go to boarding schools, as a lot live on remote farms and ranches. They come home on holidays and some weekends. Haley missed my talk at the Newfane Methodist church, so I will be giving a talk about my World Walk, at her house for her and her friends when I return in March.

Mostly walking on the local B roads, the M roads are off limits to walkers, and the A roads are too busy, noisy and usually have no shoulder or sidewalk. Going through lots of small villages with old houses of brick or stone. Some still have thatch roofs. Often pass markers showing where the old Roman road from 2000 years ago was laid out, and where an old Roman ruin is.

I did have one man stop to talk to me and he started going off on how my USA flag is covered in blood. He also said the UK flag was covered in blood too. Lots of people have strong opinions on the Iraq situation. No problems so far though, most people have a friendly reaction to me.

Spring is just around the corner. Saw my first flowers, snow drops and daffodils are just coming out. Everything is wet, damp, covered with moss and ivy. Quite a change from the beautiful weather I had in New Zealand. Next month I will be back working at Lake Powell, Arizona where it will be 70F already.

Till next week, I am headed for Stonehenge, and Bristol. Email me with questions or comments at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or comments.

Walkingman's 2nd Week Across United Kingdom

Chichester to Bristol, via Stonehenge

2/9/03 to 2/12/03 1126 miles, 18 mpd, 10402 Total World Walk miles.

Weather has gotten a little bit better, still cold at night. More flowers coming out, mostly snow drops and a few daffodils. Mostly foggy and misty in the morning and then cloudy all day. Staying warm and dry in my wool sweater, pants, socks, gloves, baklava hat, and a layer of nylon pants and wind breaker over that. Some evenings I get a small campfire going to boil some water for my thermos for morning coffee. All the wood is pretty wet and damp, so only getting about a 50% success rate with fire starting.

Moving off the roads whenever I can find a good bike path. They tend to be around big cities, and then peter off as you get farther away. Nice wide lanes, often over old railway right of ways. Lots of direction signs, but sometimes missing or turned the wrong way by vandals. Using my compass to make sure I am headed in the right direction. I am in no real hurry, so no problem if I get lost or have to backtrack.

Nice bike path between Bath and Bristol, with several rock cuts with fossil beds and signs explaining the age and type of fossils. Stopped at the Bitton Railway Station for lunch of sausage, chips, cake, and coffee. Ate in 100-year-old railway coach. They take out the old steam train on Sundays in the summer. The stationmaster came out to talk and took my photo with the steam engine. Hope to have a friend put it on my website sometime in the next couple days. Quite a few people have been taking digital photos of me and emailing them to me. I think I will look into switching to digital camera next year.

Stopped in Salisbury to see the 800-year-old cathedral. Quite impressive, with lots of old relics, and 1 of the 4 original copies of the Magna Carta. Headed north along the river Avon bike path to Old Sarum. 5000 year old hill fort occupied by Stone Age people, Romans, and various invaders and defenders of England. I was directed up the footpath through a grassy field, then it turned to a narrow muddy track, steeper as I got higher. Had about 3 inches of mud on my wheels and boots. Had to dismantle my stroller to get through sheep gate. Finally made it halfway around hill to entrance where there is an easy short road up to the entrance. Arrived just at closing time for the central fort area, but I got to walk around the outside area where the original cathedral and village were. Headed north for Stonehenge, another 5000-year-old religious and ceremonial ruin. Huge stones about 20 feet high arranged in a circle, designed to mark the summer and winter solstice.

Stopped near Bristol to ask directions of a few men. Got invited home for a hot breakfast and hot shower. Just what I needed on a freezing morning.

Roads are pretty narrow and usually no shoulder to pull over on. So not too many people stopping to talk to me. Been getting a few emails from people that saw my world walker sign with my website address on it. Here's a nice email from Chris, always nice to hear from somebody that feels inspired by what I am doing:

"Hi Gary. It was really inspiring to see you on your epic journey. Myself and a friend were heading to work on a building site on Thursday 13th and managed to get your web address off the jogger, near Winterbourne-Bristol whilst I sat at the traffic lights. You and your journey became the subject of the day. I guess you inspire the adventurer in people you don't even meet directly. I loved looking at the web site and found the section on the UK brought a wry smile to my face. A very accurate perception of a nation of moaning rabbits. As a Brit I can create a drama from the simplest of problems. I shall be following your progress and wish you all the success in your ongoing endeavor and the quest to find a publisher. Thank you for awakening the dreamer in me and making a cold working day more pleasant. All the best again Chris, Bristol, GB"

Till next week I am headed for Wales, although as I write this article I am sick in bed in Newport, Wales. Fever, chills, vomiting, and headache; staying in a guesthouse for a day or two till I see how I feel.

Will let you all know next week if I have to stop my walk for now, or continue. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or comments.

Keep on walking.

Walkingman's 3rd Week Across United Kingdom

Bristol to Newport, Wales.

2-13-03 to 2-15-03 48 miles, 16 mpd, 10,500 Total World Walk miles.

From Bristol I walked over the Severn River Bridge into Wales. Stopped in Chepstow to buy some food and use the computer at the library. Camped in a park by the old ruined castle. Another freezing night and a man stopped to talk and gave me a nice Lowe Alpine winter hat.

Stopped at a trailer cafe with a huge 3 foot wide cast iron frying pan; must have weighed 200 pounds. I think the fried egg sandwich I had there might have got me sick. Also filled up my water bottle at a gas station and forgot to ask if the water was good. They sometimes have a sign saying the water is not drinkable.

Looking for a camping spot in Newport, when I saw a field with garden plots in it. Just pulled in when an old man walking a dog was about to lock up the gate. He talked a bit, and gave me permission to camp. UK has lots of garden fields for people that live in apartments to grow vegetables in the summer. Called victory gardens back in World War 2. Just as I was breaking camp in the freezing morning a lady came over and invited me in for coffee and breakfast. The man had called her last night to let her know I was camping and what my website address was. Did not feel very well, and ended up throwing up my breakfast. Got sick from bad food or water the day before I think. Fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. Stayed in a guesthouse for one night, 24 hours in bed, and several hot showers. Felt better in the morning, but still weak. So I decided with the cold weather and freezing night temperatures, it would be best to stop my walk for now, and recover fully at home.

Took the train to London and flew home to Olcott, New York. Spent a couple hours walking around London to see the Science Museum and a few other sights. Will spend 2 weeks visiting family, then back to Lake Powell, Arizona to work for the summer. I plan on switching to working the next 4 winters so I can walk the summers. Next walk will be across Australia in June to September 2004. Then I hope to walk London to Moscow in 2005 and possibly Moscow to Beijing in 2006. Then Alaska to California in 2007.

Had a good time walking this winter, 1860 miles over 3 months. Met a lot of nice people and saw lots of great places. Looking forward to planning and training for my next walk.

My total cost for my trip came to about $3000 US. $2000 for the round trip plane ticket, and the rest for food (about $5 a day) and a couple nights in hostels, and a couple bus and train rides.

Till next year, Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions or comments. I should have my photos from this walk soon. I hope I have inspired a few people to get out and walk and have an adventure. Lots of nice people out there.

Keep on Walking.

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