Day 33. Hiking and Hot Mud ..part 1.


Today is for my amazing Mother! She wanted it to be dedicated to Matt Marshall. I have no idea how to say thank you to the most influential and inspiring woman in my life. My Mom. The onlyyy way I know how.. is to show her that she raised a good boy who turned into a man one day. (Even though she always will still call me her baby.) To show her that she did an excellent job raising me and to make her proud by living a good, honest, faith filled life. Every friend of mine who meets you, wishes you were their Mum. There’s no way I could be where I am in life without your reassurance and constant prayers. Supportive in ANY decision I make. She does all my what ifs so I don’t have to. Lol I can trace back any accomplishment in my life to you.

So Thank You. For Everything.

Matt Marshall became her boss at Saint Anne Home for about 6 months. He has made quite an impact on her and everyone he meets. He fought a long battle with Leukemia (blood Cancer) about 6 years ago. His strong faith and prayers of other Gods brought him back to health. He has a big heart and never hesitates to share his story with other people. He has a gratitude about life and treasures every single day he lives. He takes nothing for granted and shares his kindness with every person he meets. On a visit home, I got to meet this guy. We have very similar stories and I was blessed to shake his hand. We share so many of the same views, but mainly.. Life is short. Take advantage of everyday and make it what you want. It is your life after all. My mom will treasure your friendship and kindness always. Like me.. I hope that every person you meet will walk away feeling better about their life or their situation. Thank you for being you and having a huge impact on my mother and I. You never know how far your life’s ripples will travel.


I woke up about 9:15am. I look forward to the day that I can wake up in a real bed and not have to spend an hour every morning packing away all my belongings into a backpack that I have to carry the rest of the day.

Blueberry muffin. Some scroggin. Some water.

So this morning I tried to use the app ‘Hyperlapse’ to time lapse me packing everything away and into my backpack to carry out. Sad that when I got it all packed up my phone had shut off. I guess there is a time limit for the app. So not only did it only get about 70% of me packing but when the sun shined on my phone the exposure went pretty bright. I guess the old fashioned way would be to make the video and speed it up later on a computer. This got about 3 minutes and 45 seconds at 15x speed. I’ll post what I have on fb later. Instagram only allows 60 seconds. I might chop a part out and post that. I dunno yet.

I looked into where the campground woman told me would be the best place to hitch out of. It was still an hour and a half hike. Most of which was along a highway. Not too fond of that idea cuz no one stops, but I knew I could easily do it. Goodbye pool!

Oddly enough, my backpack feels lighter and lighter each time I carry it. Yet each time I pick it up, it’s just as heavy! Most likely because my arm muscles have shrank and headed to my leg muscles. So now my arms are puny but my legs are nice and shapely! (Not a word. I know)

Barely a cloud in the sky.. another beautiful day. I saw a lot of snow in pictures and friends posts online. Totally honest.. I would rather carry this backpack around in the hot sun that deal with the cold. 😅😅

Welp. There’s the highway ahead.

I didn’t think I would be getting a lift, so I put my headphones in.. shuffle random music. It’s now 11:20am. Some Hillsong music then some Daft Punk. Like really shuffling here. Something reminded me of my favorite song from years ago. (I might have already posted this.. or at least put it in my memory at some point that I should post this) 3rd Eye Blind – Motorcycle Drive By.

“I’ve never been so alone… but I’ve never been so alive”

Those thoughts filled my body with a new vigor and strength. I’m in New Zealand. Backpacking. I’ve almost made it 40 days and I’m super blessed. I have a full belly, and plenty of water. Hiking along a pretty much desolate highway. I have a direction, but don’t know how to get there. This seems to be at the core of men. Adventure. Danger. Being brave. We crave this stuff. I was so happy.. to be sweating along this road. We don’t get many times like this in life.

I hike for about 40 minutes..

(No not in the center of the road. Yes I looked both ways many times before I took this picture)

I had my thumb out sometimes and not others. I just kept walking sometimes glancing back to see if I was wasting my thumb and arm muscle efforts. No cars. No thumb.

Kind of surprises a guy named Phil pulled over in front of me. He had to move his baby seat out of the way for me to put my bag in the back. He said he was going up I the small village ahead. Good! That’s where I was told to hitch from. Lol even though I was getting a ride now..? He asked if I wanted to be dropped off at the highway crossing or the gas station. I said gas station. It would have taken me another 30 minutes to get there.. but in a car it was 5 minutes. Niceee

I thought the gas station would be an easier place to get a ride. Ehhh not so many people. So I walked back up to the highway crossing.

Took my backpack off. The road going past me was about 2.5 hours to Rotorua. But I planned on stopping at some hot thermal parks.

I waited for about 20 minutes and see a car slow down and stop beside me. He said he is heading to Rotorua and could hop in as long as I didn’t mind his dog on my lap. Lol. It’s ok. 🙂 Hue was his name.. and I’ve forgotten the little puppies name.

Hue doesn’t look too happy in this photo lol. But I assure you he is a nice guy. Also had hitchhiked before so he knew the struggle. He had to have the AC on high and blowing on his little pup. The little guys fur was even black. Hue said that he was an avid cyclist and had done many triathlons. He was in the process of getting all the red tape out of the way for his wife to cycle from India to China! Geeeze. Making my puny 40 day walk look like nothin! I tell him that I want to stop at some thermal pools stuff and he asks me which one, there are 4. Lol. Ummmm which one do you recommend?? He used to work in tourism and has been to all of them. He recommended Wai-O-Tapu. (Interesting names!)He said it was a little off the main road, but since he had no place to be he would drop me off at the door. Nice! Street to door service! I get out of his car and feel like I smell like wet dog. Like is that me? I assume it is for a long time. Lol.

Looks pretty cool. Price isn’t toooooooo bad..just for walking around. I go inside to buy a fruity drink and sit outside planning where I’m going to be staying and a shuttle to Hobbiton! I was told I should book in advance because they fill up quickly. Also another person said I should book the last tour so I didn’t have a group behind me. I imagine the tours go later than when we get there by bus though. So I’ll be in the middle between groups I’m sure. I first checked where the shuttle left from.. then campgrounds in the area.. not much. How about hostels..? Nice a few hostels. $19 for a night isn’t bad. 6 person co-ed room. Done. Then I booked my tour of where all the hobbits lived in LOTR!

Sigh.. speaking of.. I need to get going. It’s noon and my shuttle leaves at 1:20pm. Still in bed blogging. 😅

I’ll finish when I return!



One Comment on “Day 33. Hiking and Hot Mud ..part 1.

  1. I feel honored and blessed by your kind, loving words my son! I am so proud of who you are and yes… you will always be my baby boy but I have learned to NOT say it out loud especially in front of your friends lol ! Love you and looking forward to seeing you for a few days before your next big adventure !!

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