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Te Araroa – On Meeting “The Man of the Trail”

or how I met Geoff Chapple and his wife Miriam.

If you follow my Facebook feed, you might have seen a picture and a very excited comment about my meeting with Geoff Chapple and his wife Miriam. I didn’t talk about it in my previous post as I thought would deserve an article in itself. Let me tell you more about this unexpected and special moment … Geoff Chapple is an author, a journalist, and the founder of the Te Araroa. He imagined it, designed it and walked it. How did I happen to meet him? Well, it was simply pure luck. Jörg and I were walking along the road between North Head and the Devonport Wharf to go and catch our ferry, when a car pulled over next to us, and a friendly lady wearing a beautiful hat and a Te Araroa fleece jacket rolled down her window while calling out to us “Are you walking the Te Araroa?” “Yes we are” I said, noticing the logo on her jacket and having my curiosity level raised up a notch … “Well, this is Geoff Chapple right here” she said, pointing at the man driving the car, whom I couldn’t see from where I was standing. Taking a step back and bending down a little lower so I could look under the car roof, I could barely believe it when I saw Geoff saying hello to us with a big smile on his face. And this is how, by a lucky coincidence, while walking the Trail, I met the man who created the it …

They invited us for a cup of tea and some delicious homemade blueberry muffins at their place. Time flies when you’re having a good time, and we had to catch our ferry, so they drove us down back to the wharf, telling us that we would be more than welcome if we wanted to come back again. We absolutely enjoyed our time with them, and we quickly discovered Geoff’s passion for geology. So we decided to meet again and ask Rory

to come along, as he studied geology and would most certainly get along well with Geoff. So the next day, Miriam cooked a very tasty lunch for all of us (and to my delight they are vegetarian as well!) and we shared good conversations about the Trail, about geology and life in general…

It means so much to me to have met Geoff and Miriam. The Trail is an experience that will be forever engraved in my memory, I fell very privileged to have been able to share some quality time with the man who made all this possible… They are both beautiful persons with genuine interest in hiker’s experiences and with sparkles in their eyes when they talk about the Trail …

Geoff and Miriam, Thank You So Much for sharing your hospitality, your good spirits and your passion for the Trail with me!

“I Could Be Happy, In Blue And Fortunate Weather, Roaming The Country That Lies Between You And The Sun"

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