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Planning: The Most Important Part of any Trip

August 6, 2010

Travel exists long before you board the plane. The very task of planning is so important to the end result and is undoubtedly part of the overall premise. And you know what, I love the planning stages.

I’m amidst it all at the moment. The basics are sorted: I know where I am going, what I will be doing and I have booked my international flights. But with a challenge as complex as the Te Araroa it is so much more than booking transport and accommodation.

Morialta Conservation Park - Training ground for NZ in 2009

One must source accommodation on the go as sticking to a schedule is unlikely to work out. Weather can cause delays, impromptu rest days are required. Makes for more fun, I think. And then there are the logistics like food drops… But I’ll go into that in a later post.

Presently I am trying to take care of my physical fitness. To walk a track as long as the Te Araroa – 3000km – requires preparation. Prior to my 2009 New Zealand trip I was cycling 10km and tramping 10km 3-4 times a week. And once a week I’d do Mount Lofty, which is a very steep climb in the Adelaide Hills, with my 20km rucksack. By the time I hit the first track, Avalanche Peak / Crow River, I felt pretty good. The prep had paid off and I felt it was sufficient.

This time around I have been a little slack. In the past 3-4 months I have been cycling 20-25km and tramping 5-10km once a week (if that). Additionally, though, I have been walking, at a fair pace, 5km daily, to and from work. I feel, cardio-wise, and I gauge this by how I fare on my Lofty tramps, that I am sitting pretty well. I am fit. Muscularly, though, I need some work. But hey, that all comes with conditioning.

Me on Avalanche Peak

As of next week, this is the plan: I will continue to walk 5km a day, to and from work, but with a 20kg rucksack. This will hopefully bring my cardio fitness up a notch and will get my body use to the weight and resistance. Additionally, I will continue to cycle and tramp, but I intend to up the cycling to 40km a week, and tramp with a 7-10kg daypack (I cycle to the trailhead so can’t really wear my 65ltr on these trips).

That’s the plan, anyway. I’ll keep you up-to-date with the progress.

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