29 Jan 2018

Dances with Bulls

From The Long Way Home, 4:00 pm on 29 January 2018

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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Photo: RNZ/Bruce Hopkins

Bruce Hopkins Trail Diary - Week 15

21 January - 26 January 2018.

Te Kuiti - Pureora Forest - Taumaranui

A friendly farmer lets Bruce use some prime real estate for a campsite before hitting the Trail. 

During Te Araroa.

During Te Araroa. Photo: RNZ/Bruce Hopkins

"This is my third kind of layup – you know… son’s marriages, Christmas … that sort of thing … a small operation to remove a small cluster of cancer cells from my bladder.

"Boy, every time I’ve had to restart, I get this bout of anxiety … my schedule now has me finishing right at the end of April. Any later and you’re into some extreme weather – some changeable weather - down in the South Island.

"I’ve prepared my food parcel for myself - the packages of food to last me nine days at a time for four or five of the long sections in the South Island, through the mountains.

"Tomorrow I ‘phone the surgeon to see if he can give me the results of the biopsy and then board the bus back to Te Kuiti to James and Sharon and back on the trail

"Here in Mangaweka still having a much appreciated cup of tea and talking with Daphne, Freedom and Latisha .. and I’m heading to Pureora forest headquarters to start the trek into Taumaranui

"I’ve ended up here at Timber Trail Lodge - I feel like a draft dodger you know?  I’m in the lap of luxury in the middle of the forest … What it’s indicative of is this amazing new wave of tourism and adventure tourism that’s happening in New Zealand.


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