DAY 101: Family waiting for Talbot at end of tough day

Friday May 10, 2019 Written by Published in Local
A bearded James Talbot with a Te Kuiti statue of the late All Black Colin Meads, another sportsman famed for his stoic endurance. 19050842 A bearded James Talbot with a Te Kuiti statue of the late All Black Colin Meads, another sportsman famed for his stoic endurance. 19050842

Endurance walker James Talbot has got lost in rugged central New Zealand for the second time in two weeks, as the challenges mount for the tired Rarotonga man.

 

Finally though, 101 days into his five-month walk the length of New Zealand, Talbot reached his comfort and companionship of his family homestead in the tiny King Country community of Pirongia.

The day had started badly: Talbot tells how he left Waitomo heading into the back country – but quickly lost the trail.

It seemed like all the trail markers were removed, he says.

He was navigating using his mobile phone, which showed he had to cross 4.5km of farm land to make it to another trail near Orongo Road.

When he got to where the trail joined, Talbot thought he had to keep walking until he got to a sign saying Waitomo 13km.

But he had gone the wrong way.

“I should have gone left so had to double back – my worst one so far,” he says.

It walked an extra six kilometres, on terrible tracks. “And to make it even better I got stung by a bee on the return part of the double-back, the first time I've been stung in 101 days,” Talbot says.

He managed to make his way back to Ngatapuwae and had to walk about 5km through to the end of Mahoe Road.

After a kilometre of walking over farmland, Talbot continued to walk up a cliff.

“Once up and on the track it was in fairly good condition (a little muddy though). Got to a good part of the trail and actually jogged for about 3km.

“I reckon I walked about six kilometres extra and spent two hours mucking around due to my own mistakes, so I only have myself to blame,” he says ruefully. “I actually used my phone so much for navigating that it died on me.”

Talbot eventually made it to Honikiwi and Kaimango Roads, completing 29 km in 8h37min.

His sister Julie picked him and he spent the night at the Talbot homestead in Pirongia – the “Base Headquarters” for the epic fundraising mission. Talbot is expected to have a rest day at his dad’s home in Pirongia.

Talbot says when he got to his family home his dad helped him get his gears into the house, and helped him sort out his next set of gears for the next leg of  the 3200km Te Araroa Trail.

It was great to be home, as he sat and chatted with his dad after a frustrating day.

So far, Talbot has raised $12,216 for the Creative Centre in Rarotonga through the Creative Trail Feb 2019 page at Givealittle.co.nz – and he hopes to raise much more.

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