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Since I have been battling constant rain on my journey, I’ve jumped at the chance to house sit for Savannah Kiwi over the Christmas holiday. An opportunity to dry out and play with Dash for a couple of weeks is very appealing.

This break also gives me time to reflect on my journey and continue writing about my experiences. And I definitely have mixed emotions about my experiences.

Te Araroa is not a wilderness trail. It is, somewhat unfairly, compared to the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest Trails in the United States, but while it does offer wilderness experiences, it is far from just a wild adventure.

Te Araroa is more of a cultural experience. The trail takes trampers through small towns and through big cities. One cannot traverse the landscape without interacting with the local population (well, I suppose you could refrain from interacting with locals, but I think that would be terribly rude).

I find myself asking why I undertook this journey. Was I looking for a wilderness experience? A cultural experience? Despite the rain, it is turning out to be quite an adventure! I am enjoying every facet of this journey. The wilderness offers challenges and the culture offers enlightenment.

Savannah Kiwi is hosting a Christmas party before she and Kiwi Bloke head off for the holiday. I’m looking forward to yet another opportunity to meet and mingle with New Zealand natives. A suburban perspective on New Zealand should prove quite interesting!

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