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Day 130: Step up! Support calls as walker braves storms

Friday 7 June 2019 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Local


Day 130: Step up! Support calls as walker braves storms
James Talbot during one of his walks along the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. 19060509

A Cook Islands endurance walker is braving massive storms as he tried to complete the last few days of walking the length of New Zealand.

Three tornadoes hit the North Island on Wednesday, damaging 20 homes and injuring two people. There were 3200 lightning strikes on land and over coastal waters – and the storms are expected to continue.

Now, Cook Islanders in Australia and New Zealand are being urged to step up: to support hiker James Talbot by donating towards the Rarotonga Creative Centre.

The call has been made by the Creative Trail committee team, as Talbot completes the last days of the 3200 kilometre Te Araroa Trail.

The Creative Centre committee is not targeting those residing in the Cook Islands – though their support will be welcomed, too. But they are specially calling on the support of those abroad, to donate through the Creative Trail Givealittle page.

All one has to do is donate $10 towards this fundraising initiative. If 30,000 people donate $10 each, then the target of $300,000 could easily be raised.

All funds raised will go directly towards the Respite Care Unit to help the special needs citizens at the centre. This is an adult learning centre for the disabled and special needs in Rarotonga

The committee has stated that they are pushing this online but despite having nearly 2000 followers on their Creative Trail Facebook page, only a few have donated.

They hope many will donate soon as they know that Talbot is completing his long walk in the next couple of days.

The Givealittle page will close on July 28 but the Facebook page will continue, as it will keep supporters updated on the Centre’s work.

On June 4, Talbot reached Mangamuka in Northland, New Zealand.

Due to an impending storm, he said he had to skip walking18km through the Raeta Forest, which would have taken him 10 hours hike time from Puketi.

He also decided not to stay at the Apple Dam campsite and moved on to Mangamuka, completing 34.64 kms in 8½ hours.

It was rest day yesterday at Ahipara for Talbot.

He continued to keep updated with the weather, as it was still raining with strong winds yesterday.

Talbot is expected to complete his walk reaching Cape Reinga on June 11.He is expected to return to Rarotonga on June 18.

An evening with James Talbot showcasing videos of his walk and what he faced will be organised upon his return.