Top To Tail 5 Month Hike Of NZ Coming To An End
Top To Tail 5 Month Charity Hike Of NZ Coming To An End
They have climbed many a mountain and crossed numerous streams and on February 7, 2008, Dennis Behan from America and Alice Smith from New Zealand, will finish their five month journey hiking from the Cape to the Bluff.
The pair will walk take their last few steps at Stirling Point, Bluff at approximately 12:30 PM.
Covering 2900 KM in 138 days, the couple has endured some nasty weather, blisters and tired legs and a Christmas dinner consisting of an extra portion of rice, but they have still managed to help raise money for Project K through their website www.nzunderfoot.com.
A Dutch couple were some impressed by the pairs efforts that they wrote out a cheque there and then for $1000 for Project K
Project K founded by Graeme Dingle and Jo-anne Wilkinson is a unique youth development programme that uses the wilderness, local community and one-on-one mentoring to teach and inspire teens to reach their full potential.
Behan and Smith chose Project K as a recipient because the programme shares their passion for the outdoors and offers opportunities to teens that they may not otherwise have. They are also raising funds and awareness for a similar charity in the states, Environmental Travelling Companions.
The highlight on their trip aside from the beautiful scenery and stunning locations was the generosity of the public, many who offered a bed for the night and some good kiwi food.
“It just absolutely amazes me how helpful Kiwis are. So many people we have met along the way think we’re absolutely crazy hiking the length of NZ and want to help out in anyway they can. It’s been fantastic” says Behan.
The couple are slightly nervous about finishing the five month journey which will mean having to go back to a normal routine.
“It’s going to be unusual not waking up in a tent or Doc hut and stepping out to some amazing view with not another sole in sight. We’ve been so used to walking each day that we haven’t had to think about too much else” says Ms Smith.
After spending some time hiking through Wanaka, they have decided to move down there for the winter season when the hike finishes.