Hi, so I have been away from the internet and away from Wellington!!!
Here's what we have been upto.
The last day of my tide (friday) as you all know was a little dissapointing to say the least. I decided that if I wasn't able to swim the Strait that week, then it was time to do another long training swim. Dad and Aidan hired a Kayak and escorted me for 6 hours around Wellington Harbour. The wind was high and we headed out of the protection of the Oriental bay part into Evans bay, here we were greeted with huge waves that we had to battle through head on. The Kayak was bouncing up and down, waves slamming across the front of the boat, soaking dad as they broke and the spray blew onto him. He got pretty cold as wet, and windy is not a great combo. We fought on, the wind chilled me for the first 2 hours but then I became used to it and felt that I was in the better place!
It eventually became too cold for dad, he reached land and walked the remainder of the way home, much to our amusement as Aidan stayed on the Kayak and dad was walking along a busy road soaking wet, wearing his life jacket and carrying his paddle! A lady asked him if he was lost, with that he replied, no i'm wet and cold and i've lost my boat! With that he walked on leaving the lady pretty confused!
After the swim we all warmed up, got changed and jumped into the car and left Wellington! Friday night was spent in Levin with some really lovely friends of mine. I met Ron and Lesley when I guided the lake district trip for Swim Trek back in 2007. Dawn and I stayed with them for a couple of nights when we backpacked around New Zealand in 2008. They are so lovely, kind happy and really make you feel at home. They live on an amazing farm and it was magic to spend an evening with them and let the stress of the swim dissipate.
Saturday we left Levin and drove upto Tongariro national park. This is an area full of lots of volcanic craters. We camped in a free Doc (Department of Conservation) site within the forest. It was a mission to find. We had to take a guess at what dirt road to take off of the main road. When we made our guess we drove a good 30mins down a very bumpy road that logging lorries use (I grounded the car twice!) then it passes 1 compost toliet. This marked the campsite! We were glad that our guess was right. It was dark by then so quickly to bed to be bitten by more mosquitos!
Sunday was an early start as we headed of and walked the Tongariro crossing. It was the most beautiful walk that we have done since being out here. Dad came with us and we walked 20km in 7.5 hours climbing up to saddles between the huge volcanic cones. It was a full on walk but passed volcanoes with red craters, steam leaching out of the ground, turqoise lakes, rough terrain caused by hardened lava flow. The ground was so warm in places and so soft in others, we had to scramble and slide our way down a very steep scree slope. It was pretty amusing watching everyone around you and of course myself wobbling our way down, arms held out doing the odd spin to rebalance. It really was wonderful!
My phone has just rung with THE call.
I am off to swim the Cook Strait tommorow! We will be meeting at the boat at 7:15am so 6:15pm UK time. Two people made it today, lets hope that I can be the third successful swim this season.
Those of you who have been praying for me, thank you and please carry on. Same for those of you who have had thier legs, fingers and anything else crossed please hold them crossed for the next 24 hours!
If you want to send me any texts of encouragement my mobile is 07776251514
If you want to call and see how I am getting on then please use 0034226858024
If you want to contact me via email, then please do this via my mum: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well i'm off to mix my carbohydrate drinks now and then to bed.
Night Night! xxx