28.5km, 8.5 hours

Rebecca is in her underwear after 10 minutes of walking. That’s not because she’s too hot, it’s quite cold out, but damp shorts lead to chaffing. It’s rainy and dreary out, and Rebecca caught a little head cold in Queenstown. It’s our first illness of any kind in the trail, which is surprising as we are going on four months.

The cold does not give you a cold…we’ve been freezing enough to prove that. Eating things off the ground doesn’t make you sick – I’ve invoked the 3-second-rule more times that a grown man should. And eating with hands that are “camping clean” that is, sort of a little clean but unsanitary by any civilized means, has not made us sick either. No, it’s other people that make you sick.

The day itself is grey drizzle, but improved markedly when we arrived back into beech forest out of the boggy valley. We spent much of that day in contemplation.

This is the end of our journey, or that last 10 days of it. It’s a mix of feelings. We talk about the restaurants we’ll go to back home, seeing friends and family, being able to watch a movie and all the little comforts you take for granted. But also knowing hat we’ll miss our daily picnic lunch and spending so much time outdoors.

Many people we’ve met seem to be doing this long journey because they don’t quite know what to do next in life. That’s not true with us: Rebecca will start architecture, and have an exhibition of the ~120 paintings done on these travels. I have a few business and technical ideas to explore. This has been about the adventure, spending time together, and taking a break to do something out of the ordinary. I’m quite certain to miss that.