Guest blog by Katie Johnstone, hikoi walker
Today Mum and I got up in the dark after a night of fitful sleeping in our tent outside Greta Valley hall. We’d had a long day of walking the day before in the wind and our feet were still feeling the burn. While Mum was still attempting to wake up, I packed up the fly of the tent, and she complained because she was still wanted to get changed. We then rushed off to the hall and had our pre-prepared smoothies and muesli. Then it was time to wrap up our blisters for the day’s walking, to ensure they didn’t get worse and cause problems. Like the previous few days, we expected to be walking for about 5 hours with 1 hour of rest, and 20km. We set off just as the sun came up. The morning was deceptively cool to begin with but way before lunch time, it got very, very hot. There were several places in which the verge by the road got too narrow for the hikoi walkers, so we cut up the bank, before moving back onto the road.
At around 11am we stopped at the Hurunui river for a quick swim. The river was refreshing, however I caught myself taking a drink from the river before I could stop myself. Remembering that the river runs through farmland and animals are allowed to drink from and walk through it, reminded me of one big reason why I am doing this Hikoi. It is very important to Mum and I that our rivers should be suitable for swimming and why not aim high, for rivers that are suitable for drinking also? The rest of our day on the road was fairly uneventful. When we got to our destination for the evening we were all given free drinks and food by some of our supporters at the Main Line Café and our accommodation as usual was more than comfortable.
Tomorrow there is the promise of hot outdoor baths overlooking the sea, as well as a weather forecast of rain, which appeals to me after all the hot sun and wind we have experienced so far. Mum and I are firm believers that you are stronger in numbers and that the more supporters a cause has, the higher the chances it will succeed. We are looking forward to meeting more people, soaking up more ideas and inspiration, and arriving in Wellington to make our stand against corporate greed in Parliament.