11 Dec 2017

High and Dry

From The Long Way Home, 2:00 pm on 11 December 2017

Bruce Hopkins wants to take his dad and brother's ashes back home to Rakiura/Stewart Island. He’s just taking the long way to get there. The long, long way. 

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A view of the Pirongia Hills in the distance above rolling hills.

The Pirongia Hills prove to be one of the most challenging sections of Te Araroa - so far. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

There has been a huge response to our plea for help in finding Bruce’s missing ashes but so far, they haven’t turned up. Please keep looking! We appreciate it.

Bruce has left Mercer and is on his way to Te Kuiti but hot days and the high hills are giving his body grief.

Bruce Hopkins Trail Diary - Week Eight

3 December – 10 December 2017

Mercer – Te Kuiti

“The vast array of daily physical/mental trials, tribulations and joyous experiences is a continual fascination. A thick shake is my new craving after a 9-10 hour slog.

Bruce pulls a face as he poses in front of the Waikato river.

A River Runs Through It (Bruce's ear). Photo: Bruce Hopkins

"However my body and in particular my internal organs are beginning to demand that I pay much closer attention to my levels of dehydration and exertion, so I may need to restrict myself to 7-8 hours of tramping, each day with the 30km days being restricted to only when necessary. I also need to ensure I take rests along with almost doubling my intake of water. I’m currently on a three day hold awaiting the final results of a blood test I had to have when arriving in Te Kuiti from Waitomo on Thursday afternoon. I’m staying with a wonderful couple who are members of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust New Zealand

“The whānau of trampers that you meet while on this odyssey, even those you only spend brief periods of time with at a campsite or in passing in a forest, are people you feel an instant bond with. Then there are the trail angels, those who give you something as simple as water, or a meal, or a five star hot shower and bed, are truly that, angels.

“I find it hard to express the depth of my gratitude to these wonderful folk.”

The Long Way Home - whenua, whakapapa, whānau. Follow us.

Produced by Bruce Hopkins and Justin Gregory. Executive Producer Tim Watkin.

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