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Talbot battling onwards despite challenges

Saturday March 09, 2019 Written by Published in Local

With the one single aim to raise $300,000 for the Creative Centre in Rarotonga, experienced hiker James Talbot is not letting any negative comments get in the way of his ambition.


With his friends and families motivating him, Talbot strives to move forward with the aim to complete his walk on the 3200 kilometres Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand.

In his latest journal, Talbot gave highlights on the highs and lows of his journey for the past four weeks and has another 12 weeks or more to finish his walk and reach Cape Reinga.

“So why am I doing this walk and what’s the overall goal? To raise as much money for The Creative Centre as possible with a target of $300k while walking the length of NZ.” He said it was his idea to walk New Zealand as he wanted to find something where it would be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging.

“I chose to walk NZ solo as I thought it would cover all those bases, basically trying to live somehow like what it may be like for the students at the centre on a day-to-day basis,” Talbot said.

On physical challenges, Talbot said that a week before leaving Rarotonga he was diagnosed with arthritis in my right ankle which he did not take too seriously until doing this walk.

“So I am walking on a ‘glass’ ankle which has its good days and its bad days. I take magnesium and nuromol pills to try to relieve the pain ... but if I need to take an extra rest day or hitch to the next destination then that’s what I’m going do. There aren’t any rules against hitching or using ‘trail angels’ when they offer you help.”

On mental challenges he said the focus required him to maintain his course and navigate without losing his way step by step mentally draining and making sure he did not have an accident.  On emotional challenges he said: “My soulmate is not beside me every day. That hurts me deeply. I also missed our 20th anniversary and Valentine’s and will also miss our wedding anniversary as well ... My children, I am missing.”

Talbot said in the past four weeks he has heard some “nay-sayers” or people with negative comments about why has been hitching.

“Well I hope God blesses your feet, legs and brain before you jump on a plane and get to Bluff and whack on a 15-kilogram pack and start walking northwards ... then give yourself a gammy arthritic ankle.

“Then see how long it takes you before you start to hitch a ride because you are too sore, have too many blisters or are tired or won’t make it to destination in time ...” Talbot added.

He said this is his journey and it is being done his way with the single aim of raising money for the Creative Centre in Rarotonga.

“When you can be one of 30,000 people to say ‘I donated $10 for the Creative Centre Rarotonga’. It’s not a lot but if we get 30,000 people to donate $10 … Wow! That would be awesome.”

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