4 Dec 2017

Have You Seen My Father and Brother?

From The Long Way Home, 2:00 pm on 4 December 2017

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

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Have you seen this pouch?

Have you seen this pouch? Photo: Bruce Hopkins

Bruce has made it to Auckland but while on a rest day, disaster struck. The pouch containing the ashes of his brother and father have gone missing along with the red waterproof pouch they were stored in and a red Olympus camera. Bruce was on a rest day in Auckland, visiting his mokopuna and planning for the next stage of the walk when they were lost.

They may have been left at Cornwall Park, in at New World Supermarket on College Hill, at Café 121 in Ponsonby or at Ralph’s Café on Dominion Road. Someone might have found them and not known who they belonged to, or they could be sitting safely under tree somewhere. Bruce is distraught over losing them.

If you’ve found the ashes, please get in touch. Bruce is back on Te Araroa – New Zealand’s Trail but you can reach him at thelongwayhome@radionz.co.nz, on Twitter @BruceHop or on Instagram @brucehoppy. Alternatively, you can email Justin Gregory, the series producer, at Justin.gregory@radionz.co.nz.

Please resend this message, retweet it, and share it as widely as you can. Let’s get Bruce back together with his dad and big brother and get them all back home.

Bruce Hopkins Trail Diary - Week Seven

24 November – 3 December 2017

Auckland - Hamilton

Bruce Hopkins

Not Bruce's actual age, or speed. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

"I’m currently in Hamilton having had an unscheduled rest day following an absolute gut busting 11hr /34km slog from Rangiriri to Ngaruawahia on Friday followed by a relatively easy five hour hike to Hamilton yesterday.

"The Mercer to Rangiriri trek prior to the 11 hour day was also a very taxing session. 

"Every day delivers its own style of challenges, be it harsh road walking (Auckland Airport to Clevedon, Clevedon to Mercer) or awkward, head-high pollen infested grass and cattle-rutted stop banks, electric fences, low tree branches and ugly swamp mud.

Bruce's new, light-weight and so far pain-free trail running shoes. Photo: Bruce Hopkins

"Since restarting I have acquired a new group of about seven fellow TA trampers who I criss-cross and connect with at campsites and stop over locales. Once again they are a superb mix of international peeps who I love catching up with when we do, be it in the bush or in a town.

"My time of staying with friends or friends of friends more often than not, is coming to an end. I will miss the beds, showers and wonderful hospitality. I will start catching up with contacts again when I get closer to Wellyville in the New Year.

"To date my injured leg has been great, it seems the injury is pretty much healed. The ongoing issue I face is dehydration. I am soaked in sweat (including my shorts!!!) after only about 1/2 hour into each day of walking with my 18-20 kg pack. This lasts all day and increases once any climbs begin especially now that the hotter weather has arrived. I’m carrying electrolytes etc. and need to ensure I can filter water throughout the day.

"Thanks to all of you for the ongoing support."

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

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