Day 5 – Progress requires setbacks; the only sure way to avoid failure is not to try

Today was supposed to be a rest day, however I woke after a restless sleep and could feel my heart beating in both feet. You know that feeling, hot, painful and not healing. I knew I needed to sort out these blisters, so after a few phone calls – and as it is a Saturday, I made the call to go to the hospital.

When I arrived, I explained the situation and after showing my feet, they wheeled in a bed and took me to see the Dr. The Doctor was fantastic – well mostly (I didn’t enjoy the needling!) She was Dutch and also a hiker, so she gave me some good advice after also telling me that my blisters were the worst she had seen from TA hikers this season – great!

The Doctor confirmed a couple of the blisters were infected, took a swab for testing and proceeded to needle the 12 blisters. This was not fun. She went in on the side through the good skin and squeezed. For the blister under my toenail, they took a vice like drill and went in through my toenail, this also didn’t tickle, but the pressure relief was good.

So after the lovely nurse, Carol, dressed my feet, I headed back to my motel to rest up.

That evening the group had a BBQ to celebrate Claudia’s 31st Birthday. I met a few new TA hikers and also a local who offered to run me to my Follow-up appointment on Monday.

So while it is disappointing not to be able to leave with the group tomorrow, I know it is the right thing to do – and I have learned a lot to help prevent future situations.

What did I learn today?

  • My hiking boots are too heavy and I should try cross trainers for the next section
  • If I feel a blister coming, stop and deal with it before it becomes a bigger problem
  • Don’t put the end goal over my own health and well-being, I need to be well to succeed

…and as a bonus, this was a rewarding send off for the TA team I set out with (who leave without me tomorrow)

9 thoughts on “Day 5 – Progress requires setbacks; the only sure way to avoid failure is not to try

  1. Oh man, that is ROUGH with the blisters. If it’s any consolation, I’ve met a lot of people who had similar problems. It’s not just you – it happens.

    I had an early injury that took me off trail completely for two weeks. A couple of rest days now are not a big deal in the scheme of things. We’ve all done it! And those first two weeks involve a massive learning curve for us first-timers, and even the super experienced hikers I’ve met told me it was a butt-kicker of a start. Just take your time until your body breaks in a bit.

    FYI – my timing for the forests was…
    Day 1 – Ahipara to Tramp Inn at the end of Herekino
    Day 2 – Tramp Inn to Raetea Summit
    Day 3 – Raetea Summit to Mangamuka Dairy
    Day 4 – Mangamuka to turn off at the Kauri Stump
    Day 5 – Kauri Stump to Puketi Forest HQ
    Day 6 – Puketi Forest HQ to Kerikeri

    Hope that helps with some planning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great, thanks for this! I’m looking forward to getting back into it. Everything is healing nicely, but a couple more days will ensure I’m back to 100% – thanks again for the timing, appreciated!



  2. They look painful Matt….I am not being selfish and you can have them…..I know you are strong of mind and will complete this. Its a small delay for a stronger finish.
    Look forward to the next instalments


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