It’s not long after your tired feet make it down from the high mountains that you get treated with this……
The final beach walk of the North Island. It’s a beauty. Very welcome after the rugged trail, especially knowing you are finishing the island in a few short days. For the rest of the way, it’s pubs, grocery stores, beautiful views, and in our case, FRIENDS!
My friend Lissa Carlino and her lovely family were waiting for us in Wellington. Though we were still 70k from their house when we made it out of the woods, we couldn’t pass up a train ride right to them. So we had the luxury of getting there a few days before and slack packing the rest of the way back down. That made for more nights to be with friends, and light packs for the rest of the island. All of which, we were quite lucky to have.
It was a good feeling to be in the home of a young family from America. To spend time with their two boys and share meals and stories. To hear how things are going for them in this country. To have their tour-guiding (mostly Gus, the brilliant 5-year-old) through one of the most amazing little cities I’ve seen so far. We were there for 5 days, but it wasn’t enough. Especially with our hiking getting in the way. Aaron plays guitar so expressively and Lissa has such a beautiful voice, I could, and would like to, sit across the table with them for many days more.
Deeper still, there is so much comfort in the way women relate to each other. I see it as medicine. To share a cup of something with Lissa and talk about life. To listen to her tribulations as a mother, to relate about the things we fear or the things we’ve been through. To shine some light in each other’s direction. It’s nothing I take lightly. I know I need strong women like oxygen, and I trust and understand that we can carry the weight together. I will always come back to this and rely on it with every step I take. Love!
The city is impressive, and the trail leading through it even more so. You go from this…..
suddenly to this…..
and right into the heart of it.
It’s stunning, and feels like such a livable place. We never felt pushed or stomped by the rhythm of the city, just glad to part of it for a while. It was quirky too, with fun little shops and dining areas and a platform at the train station that I really appreciated.
If you get a chance, go to Wellington. You’ll find incredible exhibits, marvelous parks, and people jumping into the ocean from platforms built just for it. Even on cloudy days.