In January, 62 year old Lindfield resident Peter Candy flew out to join his son as he trekked the length of New Zealand.
Rob Candy (inset) set himself the challenge of raising money for two charities by walking the 3000km across both North and South Islands which he started, with friend Joss Smale, back in November last year. The pair hope to finish the trek later this month.
Peter, who describes himself as semi-retired, says it was an opportunity he couldn’t miss: “For a variety of reasons, the timings of joining Rob out there worked well. I hadn’t seen Rob for a couple of years and have never travelled to New Zealand either. I wanted to spend time with and support Rob as he perseveres with this incredible challenge.”
Peter, who has worked as an overseas aid worker, an airline insurance manager, a deputy warden of student accommodation in central London and a Christian missionary in Tanzania, made the 40 hour door-to-door journey to meet Rob in the country’s capital Wellington. “At this point Rob and Joss had already walked 2000km,” Peter explained. “I had a couple of days’ wait as we weren’t exactly sure how long it would take for them to arrive in the city. They can have a number of days without any mobile signal at all, when they are completely incommunicado.”
The section of the Te Araroa Trail that Peter walked with them is known as the Queen Charlotte Track. A 70km stretch with variations in altitude of nearly 400m.
“I tried to prepare myself before I went with practise walks around home,” Peter said. He set off each time with a 20kg backpack walking, for example, a 12 mile route up to Ardingly, to the Balcombe Viaduct and back home. “The most dangerous part of the whole adventure felt like walking on the roads just north of Lindfield where they are no footpaths!
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