Talbot aims to complete the 3,200km walk from Bluff at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island to Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island within five months.
A few years ago Talbot and his wife Ani attended a tour of Rarotonga’s Creative centre. Here James met a memorable old man by the name of Papa U’a who “tugged on his heartstrings” and inspired him to do something to help the little community.
Talbot told CINews: “I thought about it for a few weeks afterwards and thought, well I really want to do something, but something more than just volunteering for a day. It’s gotta be something big.”
Eventually, Talbot had the brilliant, as he puts it “bonkers” idea to conquer the Te Araroa Trail and put whatever proceeds he could to raise towards the Creative Centre’s respite units.
Talbot is aiming to raise $300,000. “This money will go directly towards the respite units. It can help the Creative Centre Board to do whatever they need to the respite units as required.” says Talbot.
Talbot and his wife Ani say all that is needed for the target to be reached, is for 30,000 people to donate $10 over a period of five months.
The “Creative Trail Feb 2019” committee has already received plenty of support from the community, with many people already generously.
And over the past few months, Talbot has been busy gearing for the lengthy trek.
His training regime has consisted of completing Rarotonga’s cross-island walk, climbing Arorangi’s Raemaru and walking the 32kms around the island several times.
Overcoming the “jandal effect” has been a major challenge for Talbot. Going from wearing flat jandals to hiking boots that have a 2.54cm drop from heel to sole is no easy task, he says.
Despite the sore ankles he has suffered, Talbot has persevered and continues to push on - all for his love of the Creative Centre.
Talbot would like to thank Bluesky for his mobile phone, Air Rarotonga, The Cook Foundation, 21.3 Vaiana’s Bar, The Rotary Club of Rarotonga and Rotary New Zealand, and the many other sponsors, and organisations who have supported him on his journey.
If you would like to be one of 30,000 to donate to the Creative Centre respite unit, you can do so via Givealitte by following the link http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/creative-trail-feb-2019.
All donations, big or small, will be appreciated. And you can follow Talbot’s journey via the Facebook page, Creative Trail Feb 2019.
Talbot departs for his adventure this Saturday January 12. Wish him well by joining the ‘Creative Trail Feb 2019’ Committee at 21.3 Vaiana’s this Friday, 5-7pm.
- Teherenui Koteka