First Steps

Once I stepped onto the trail at the sign, there was no turning back. I switched on my head torch. It's about ten years' old and the elastic headband has grown a little limp, like its owner. "Things just aren't as taut as they used to be," I thought. Still, I stepped with a certain jaunty bounce down the path to the first beach and onto firm sand. I turned off my head torch there and wondered if George and Derek above me had been gauging my progress.

I love walking at night. It has a dream-like quality in which time and space take on different forms to those in daylight. We did endless night operations in the Army and I've always enjoyed the sense of moving unseen while the rest of the world sleeps.

More by chance than design, I had started at around the turn of a low tide so I had more than enough time to walk the six kilometres or so to the next headland where the track crossed over to 90 Mile Beach.

It felt good to move and good to be on my way. I whistled the "Victory March" from Verdi's opera Aida under my breath as I strode along at a fine military clip. When my shoulders began to ache, I stopped for a breather, a gulp of water and a time check. 11.00 PM: all is well.

After about thirty minutes, I came across a stream pouring out of a salt water lake, rushing down to meet the incoming tide which was now beginning to lick around a forbidding line of blacks extending from a small headland. I took my shoes off and walked around the rocks. Hungry waves tugged at my calves and it was with relief that I found the next small beach and accessible high ground. I suddenly realised just how alone I felt on this remote stretch of coast.

I wasn't sure about the trail now. I took off my pack to reconnoitre a little way up the hillside. My torch revealed footprints, comforting in the darkness, so I returned for my pack and followed them up and over the first of several ridges, tufted with grass tussocks and shrubs.

To my right, the headland's mass loomed, all rock. Behind me, the lighthouse still flashed its warning light. To my left, the moonlight revealed lines of sand dunes stretching to the south, the hollows between in deep shadow. As I climbed, breathing hard, the sound of surf died away. Then came the sound of surf to my front, dim, distant and unmistakeable. 90 Mile Beach!

But how to get to it? The line of footprints had petered out and I cast about for the trail, growing tired and a little flustered, trying one way, and then another, each time retracing my steps. I sensed that the track would be higher up the flank of the headland but increasingly lacked the willpower and strength to find it.

A nippy little wind from the north-west had arisen and I was growing cold, a little disheartened. I'd had more than enough for one day. I fell to my knees, rolled out of my shoulder straps and lay panting on the sand.

After a while I stirred, rummaged in my rucksack and brought out water, stove and the food bag. "Tea!" I muttered to myself. "I need tea!"

While my Trangia stove flared and hissed in the gusty breeze, I scooped out a hollow in the sand behind my pack. Into this I put my thin mattress and then slid into the warmth of my "onesie". An excellent piece of kit, I thought. Having one's arms free in a sleeping bag made a real difference.

By moonlight and touch, I made a cup of tea, drank it, repacked my rucksack and lay down in the sheltering hollow.

Nearly 23 years before, my platoon and I had made a camp exactly like this in the Saudi Arabian desert on our second night after deploying on Operation Desert Storm. Then, it had been bitterly cold and an improbable shower of mixed sleet and rain had soaked us through and through in minutes. I had tucked a poncho around my wet sleeping bag and let the flapping cloth over my face lull me into a fitful sleep.  

Now, a few mosquitos whined half-heartedly around my exposed face but I didn't care. My eyelids drooped. Above me, Orion paced the skies, keeping watch. I thought of Rosa, far to the south.

I slept, cradled between earth and sky.

Stepping Into the Unknown

Reinga Lighthouse

[gallery type="square" columns="4" ids="614,613,616,611,615,612,617,610"] Cape Reinga simply blew me away.

From the earthen-walled car park, you have little idea of what awaits on the far side of the shadowed ten-metre or so tunnel leading to the Cape itself.

Cape Reinga (Te Rerenga Wairu) is a place of deep cultural and spiritual significance to the Maori. It is here that the Tasman Sea (the male sea Te Moana Tapokopoko a Tawhaki) and Pacific Ocean (the female sea TeTai o Whiterela) clash and mingle. At their meeting place, a frothing line of whirlpools stretches out like the wake behind a canoe (waka). This represents the union of male and female and thus, the creation of life.

However, Te Rerenga Wairu also represents the dissolution of life. Kupe, the earliest known Maori voyager, named this place. The Maori believe that after death, their spirits depart from here to their ancestral home of Hawaiki somewhere in the eastern Pacific.

These themes are tastefully and succinctly explained in a series of carved signs so it is with a sense of heightened expectation that you enter the threshold through a tunnel. It is like stepping into a tomb but instead of moving into deeper darkness, you emerge, hushing and blinking, into light and breathtaking natural beauty.

A path curves away around a wind-blown hillside along which the spirits are reputed to move and above a prominent rock on which stands an ancient and twisted non-flowering pohutakawa tree, or kahini. The spirits travel down steps formed by the roots into the underworld and after a time, pass under the sea to the Trinity Islands just visible to the north. From there, they pass on to Hawaiki.

It simply took our breath away. Even Derek was lost for words. Some things just have to be experienced to be understood.

So, we meandered down the path towards the small white lighthouse, talking in hushed tones. I passed the green wooden sign marking the start of my trail and we paused to look along the two beaches and headland at the far end leading to 90 Mile Beach.

Derek recovered his zest and suggested that perhaps he and George could camp down there with me on my first night. The idea came to me in a flash. "I'll be walking all night," I said.

Well, I was here for adventure. Whether it was the influence of this wonderful place or the pent-up tension from a day of travelling, I felt an impatience to be alone and to make a start. Like the spirits, I wanted to go home, in this case into nature. I was ready, in fact more than ready, to start my hero's journey southwards.

At the lighthouse, we took a few photographs. A German mother and daughter wandered down. Mum had come to rescue her daughter from the charms of New Zealand and bring her home. She wanted to be a grandmother and had no intention of being a distant one. The daughter seemed perfectly cheerful about her fate and laughed good-naturedly about the intervention.

We wound our way back up the path and turned to climb the grass-covered hill. At the summit, we found a half-sozzled and very happy young Canadian woman, sipping wine in a deck chair and waiting for her husband to return from the car park with a blanket, protection against the chilly breeze that had sprung up.

George shivered and we walked back to the entrance where we sat in the shelter of a bank to watch the sun dip below the horizon. To the east, a half-moon rose and the first stars appeared.

A perfect night for walking, I thought happily, but first I must eat. The three of us sat by the rest rooms while I boiled water for the first of many pot noodles. Derek was fascinated by my gear. I unpacked it all, enjoying his interest as he pawed through it, uttering brief cries of admiration.

"How I wish we were coming with you!" he cried. "Eh, George? Ah, such adventures we have on ze trail with Richard!"

George looked doubtful but tactfully said nothing.

It was now fully dark. I had made them strong tea with condensed milk (a new treat for Derek: "Deleecious! Just deleecious! he exclaimed, sipping with Gallic appreciation.)

I repacked carefully, filled my water bottles, adjusted shoes and clothing, put my headlamp on my head, ready if I needed it, checked my travel clock. It was almost 10.00 PM. Time to go.

They each gave me a hug and wished me good luck. Derek said, "How I envy you!"

They watched as I re-entered the tunnel.

I tried to think of a suitable intent for this journey. The grass rustled and I thought of spirits travelling with me.

"Let me come home alive," I whispered to myself.

The grass fluttered in the dying evening breeze. Orion the Hunter, my constellation, twinkled brightly towards the east.

I gave a thin whoop and felt it blow back into my face. And so I stepped into the unknown.


Hitchhiking is Good for the Soul

I'd originally planned to hitchhike from Auckland to Cape Reinga where the Te Araroa trail starts. However, that was a step too much for Rosa who booked me on a Naked Bus to Kerikeri, the gateway town to Northland. From there, I hoped to hitchhike the remaining 200 plus kilometres to Cape Reinga. We arrived in Kerikeri at about midday and with a hiss of air brakes parked outside a seedy little Chinese restaurant in a side street. The driver kindly leaned into the cargo well and gave my rucksack an experimental tug and then a stronger heave.

"That's a heavy pack, mate!" he exclaimed after he'd dragged it onto the pavement. I was to hear variations of this observation many times in the next ten days. We contemplated the inert mass with misgivings while he rubbed his lower back.

"It's got two weeks' food in it," I said by way of excuse.

I heaved it onto my back and tottered off into the park opposite the bus stop to orientate myself. I hauled out the orange bag containing my first week of food, brewed a cup of tea and munched on chorizo sausage, oat biscuits and an energy bar. Replenished, I strode towards a stationery shop for a notebook, pen and mobile phone recharge voucher. I tried to look purposeful, as if a middle-aged gent carrying an extraordinarily large blue canvas rucksack was the most common sight in the world. I failed miserably. Ice-cream eating tourists gawked, small children clutched their mothers, a police-woman eyed me narrowly from across the street. Someone even asked me to pose for a snapshot.

In the stationery shop, I asked the school-age assistant for directions out of town and to Cape Reinga. She gave surprisingly good ones and eyed my rucksack. "Can I feel how heavy it is?" she asked. She tried, I'll give her that much, and managed to lift it about an inch off the floor. "Wow!" she exclaimed, "That's heavy! How far are you going?"

By now, the manager and a couple of other assistants had wandered over, clearly fascinated.

"All the way from Cape Reinga to Bluff on the South Island. 3,000 kilometres," I said nonchalantly.

The audience rolled their eyes and collectively sucked their breath. "That's crazy," someone commented. "Yeah," I agreed cheerily, "I must be nuts."

It was a long hot 90 minute walk to the roundabout at State Highway 10. I tried to thumb a lift but no-one stopped. At a vegetable stand by the roundabout, a friendly Maori lady refilled my water bottles. I staggered over to the roadside and gratefully took off my pack, stuck out my thumb and awaited developments as my sticky shirt dried in the sunshine.

Ten minutes later, a camper van pulled over. I lifted my pack and at once the van took off, spurting gravel from its rear wheels.

About 15 minutes after that unpromising start, a sporty little Suzuki hatchback pulled in and  my luck changed. I slid my rucksack onto the rear seat and swung into the passenger seat next to the driver, an elderly businessman by the name of Ben heading up to Coopers Beach to check a faulty burglar alarm in his holiday home. We had a jolly journey of 70 kilometres, swapping stories while he chain-smoked. Halfway through, he called his wife. "I've got a hitchhiker," he said proudly, "He's walking the length of New Zealand!" The wife's voice on the intercom sounded querulous. "That's nice. Don't forget to water the plants and lock the door when you leave.” He looked a little downcast as he lit another cigarette.

Ben dropped me off with an invitation to spend the night if I got stuck. However, less than a minute later another elderly man stopped. "I can take you a few kilometres into town," he wheezed. "Any good to you?" "Sure, anything that keeps me moving in the right direction," I smiled. As we crawled into town, he explained, "The wife needs a capsicum. I've just had a heart op and the doctor told me I need to walk but the wife said she needs it and she needs it now." We exchanged a glance of mutual commiseration.

He dropped me outside the tavern and looked longingly at it. "The doctor said I'm not to drink," he sighed, "Otherwise, I'd shout you a beer." "Thanks," I said, "I'd have enjoyed that but you get better get that capsicum. Happy wife, happy life." He sighed again. "Yup. You got that right."

A few minutes later, I got another lift from a chap with an alarmingly cheerful disposition. Whatever I said, he responded with an enthusiastic "Awesome!". He pumped my hand after dropping me off.

I had absolutely no idea where I was but I was on a roll.

A Maori delivery driver, Chas, stopped a few minutes later in a small truck. With some difficulty, we positioned my pack between us. He extended a hand as large as a ham. Mine disappeared inside it. This guy was big. We shared more stories, getting to know each other. When he heard that I'd worked for The Queen in Buckingham Palace, he punched his telephone with a meaty finger. "Darl! You won't believe this! I've picked up a fella who knows the Queen!" I heard squeals of surprise through the speaker. "And he's walking all the way down New Zealand," Chas said proudly. There was a pause as his wife digested the information. "He must be crazy!" she said.

Five minutes after Chas dropped me off with a cheerful farewell and a handshake that left my fingers limp, a maroon passenger bus emblazoned with the slogan "The Geriatric Gypsies" hissed to a stop. It was now about 4.30 PM and still baking hot. I climbed into air-conditioned comfort to meet Murray, a retired former defence force Electrical Mechanical Engineer. What with a shared military bond and a love of travelling, we sat side by side on well-sprung seats and chatted in a manly fashion, like two old troopers reminiscing at a regimental reunion. 30 minutes later, he stopped at a roadside butchery and general store where he bought me an ice lolly. With a chirpy toot of his air horn, he clattered away and I sat back in the shade of the store to ponder my next move.

Cape Reinga was still about 80 kilometres to the north and Murray had said I'd be lucky to get a lift there at this time of day but I didn't mind. I was self-sufficient and the quick succession of lifts and general sense of moving forward had boosted my confidence. When a small four-wheel drive with an elderly couple pulled in, I approached the lady and politely asked for a lift north. "We're only going about sixteen kilometres to the caravan park" she said doubtfully. Her husband cut in. "We'll take you," he said. "You can always stay in the park tonight. It's great."

Once on the road, the ice melted and the woman chatted gaily about children and grandchildren. She mothered me a little. "What does your wife think about your walk?" she asked. "She told me to get lost," I explained with a smile. The man guffawed. "I've heard that before!" he exclaimed and his wife shot him a look. They invited me down to the caravan park but I excused myself. "I'll give it half an hour," I reassured her. "If I don't have a lift by then, I'll walk down."

In fact, less than a minute later a hire car stopped with a middle-aged driver and younger male passenger. "Cape Reinga?" I asked hopefully. "Yes! YES! All ze way to ze Cape!" the driver exclaimed, leaping out of the car, pumping my hand and sweeping an assortment of gear from the passenger seat.

And so I met Belgian Derek, 46 and his side-kick German George, 24. They'd met in "Ze most wonderful hostel in ze world!" in Whangerei where on a whim, they'd decided to pool their resources, hire a car and drive up to the Cape for the sunset. Derek was talkative. He whooped, "Ooh! La! La! Look at zat!" at every fresh vista, pulling over every few kilometres to take photographs of a perfectly ordinary beach, a sandy hill, a lone pine tree.

George was quiet; an artistic, intellectual Teuton who liked Herman Hesse. I sensed he was a little road-weary after a long afternoon with Derek. During one of our stops, he pulled out a sketchbook and pencil, while Derek gambolled up to a viewpoint with his camera.  He sighed wistfully, "Maybe we have time to draw."  He flipped through his sketches. They were very good and I said so. "Danke," he said quietly. "I like to make ze art but today sere is no time."

We reached the car park at Cape at about 7.00 PM. While Derek bounded off to the restroom, I stretched, scarcely able to believe that just under twelve hours ago, I had been in Auckland.

"I've packed more into today and met more people than I've done in the last month," I thought. "This is living." The underlying anxiety, the drive that had kept me going all day, temporarily fluttered off, leaving a pleasant sense of completion. With renewed confidence, I thought of the people I had met, the conversations I had had, the many kindnesses shown to a stranger by ordinary people who for a few minutes or an hour had made it their business to help someone out, to do something different.

While George and I waited for Derek, I commented, "Hitch-hiking is good for the soul."

"Ja," he replied quietly, looking around the enclosed car park and then towards the covered gateway that led to the Cape proper. "And I zink zis place will be good for ze soul also."

How right he was, as I was soon to discover.

"Promise Me You'll Come Back with a Book"

Since time immemorial, men have left their caves, igloos, grass huts or whatever with their women's parting counsel ringing in their ears. "Make sure you keep your feet dry, dear!", "Don't come home until you've found me a nice big fat woolly mammoth!" or, "There, that buckskin pouch I made looks just lovely against your bark loincloth!"

And no doubt as these men left their residences, stooped under the burden of married responsibilities, their shoulders straightened only when they passed from the keen-eyed scrutiny of their women.

It really wasn't that different for me, I reflected as I took my seat on the Naked Bus heading north from Auckland to KeriKeri in the Bay of Islands.

Rosa and I had had a somewhat tense trip from the North Shore into the City. I had been so busy sending last-minute missives to friends around the world that I'd lost all track of time. And then somehow I'd misplaced my $5.00 op shop trail running shoes. In a mounting frenzy, I roamed the flat and found them at last behind the bedroom door, hiding beneath one of Rosa's handbags.

"Typical!" I snarled.

So, we were already in a bit of a dither as we crawled forward in Auckland's usual rush hour log-jam towards the Harbour Bridge and the City's skyscrapers shrouded in early morning mist.

The tension increased when we reached our destination by the harbour and could see no sign of a Naked Bus.

"I hope we haven't missed it yet!" I moaned.

Rosa looked even tenser. "Well, that'll be $41.00 down the drain!" she snapped. "You'd better run around the corner and see if it's there."

She thrust an avocado and feta cheese sandwich into my jacket pocket. "Just in case you get hungry," she said.

I heaved my rucksack out of the car and took off at a kind of hunch-backed lurch, burdened by what I came to call "The Beast". Jogging, let alone running, was out of the question. It felt most undignified. I'm quite certain I heard several commuters snigger into their cups of cappuccinos as they made way for this grey-haired, panting Quasimodo.

Turning the corner, I saw a bus with the driver holding a check list. "Keri Keri?" I panted, beads of sweat popping out on my forehead and upper lip. The driver eyed me and my backpack with distaste. "Yep. Just in time, mate."

Thank goodness for New Zealand time-keeping, I thought. With a grunting heave, I slid my rucksack into the cargo well and walked up the steps into the coach, wiping the perspiration from my face, trying in vain to look like a seasoned long-distance walker.

I found a seat towards the rear, sandwiched between a listless and no doubt hungover backpacker and a harassed-looking man with four sons aged 7 to 14. The mum, a tired woman with blonde-streaked hair and aviator sunglasses sat as far from them as she could while still maintaining some contact with her family, arms folded. The man sighed and we exchanged a silent glance of mute solidarity. He must have had as fraught a morning as me, I thought.

My iPhone chirped. "I made it, darling!" I said.

"That's wonderful!" she said and then, "I'm sorry we didn't have a chance to say 'goodbye' properly."

I felt suddenly bereft, for both of us.

"I'm sorry too. I love you very much and I'll call from Kerikeri."

"Whatever you do, Richard, just promise me you'll come back with a book!" she said with vigour.

"Of course," I replied meekly.

And so this modern cavemen left his cave, iPhone in hand, sandwich in pocket and synapses tingling with his mate's final words.

My shoulders sagged.

The engine started and the bus pulled away, heading north.

I lifted my chin and smiled, for the first time in days.


Final Prep

Today (Sunday, 8 December), I opted out of visiting "Crazy Land" where Rosa's family lives. I had the perfect excuse, which was to finish my food shopping and pack for my departure tomorrow. Armed with a bank card, I wandered up to the local Countdown supermarket, where I spent a happy hour prowling the aisles, looking for bargains. Food on the trail is about balancing four factors: tastiness, energy, weight and of course, price.

If wary housewives wondered about this middle-aged eccentric muttering to himself as he scanned food labels with his near-perfect prescription hipster-style spectacles perched on his forehead, I didn't notice because I was too busy trying to perform feats of mental arithmetic.

"If this brand of energy bar gives me 8 servings of 100 grams, each of 872 kilojoules for $3.99, then how does that compare with this other brand, which offers 6 bars of 91 grams, each of 997 kilojoules and discounted down to $2.60?"

This is not easy stuff, especially for someone as numerically-dyslexic as me. Besides, it made my brain hurt.

I soon decided to base my decisions on price alone. I gaily tossed boxes of discounted oatmeal sachets, condensed milk, tea bags, instant coffee, two chorizo sausages, energy bars and ziplock plastic bags into my shopping cart. I gloated especially over twelve home-brand pot noodle cups in beef, chicken and oriental flavours (at 62 cents per 1397 kilojoules and so light they seemed to float off the shelves, they were the bargain of the century and would be sure to warm up many a cool night at the end of each day.

From Countdown and with money to spare, I carried my shopping bags across the car park to another supermarket, New World, where I hoped to find two boxes of Nairn's oat biscuits.

"Yes! There they are and on special too," I noted with happiness. Springing for the organic variety (an extra 57 cents per box, but Rosa would be pleased) I popped two boxes in the cart. On a roll now, I found the household goods aisle and with a small inward whoop of delight saw that a packet of three thermal socks could be had for $6.97. Bargain!

I even had change for a last bottle of wine.

So, I was a happy chap as I walked back down the hill to Milford, evenly balanced with a shopping bag in each hand.

Back at home, I went into overdrive, shredding open cardboard boxes, removing every spare piece of packaging and placing the discarded packaging in the kitchen sink. I had to empty it twice into the recycle bin outside the front door and as always, I bemoaned the sheer waste of modern life.

I divided the food into separate ziplock bags, one each for breakfast, lunch and snacks and dinner for the first week and another three bags for the second week. Rooting around on my tramping gear shelf, I found two drawstring stuff sacks and placed a week's worth of food in each.

They felt surprisingly hefty, I thought, as I placed them on the floor next to my backpack.

With them, I put my battered but trusty Trangia cook set together with a disposable lighter, a litre bottle of methylated spirits, a white plastic mug, green plastic bowl, a metal spoon and two empty water bottles.

The cooking system complete, I turned my attention to the other "systems" I use in tramping.

The trial "Survival Outdoor System" or "onesie", my Hennessy Hammock and a very thin mattress made up my sleeping system. After a little thought, I added a lightweight tarp made of a lightweight nylon that I had purchased years earlier.

I divide my clothing system into day/walking (wet) and night/sleeping (dry) clothing. Into the day bag goes running shorts, a merino t-shirt, synthetic thermal tights, a pair of my new thermal socks, an old quick-drying long-sleeved running shirt, peaked cap and trail shoes. Into the night bag, I placed another pair of thermal socks, merino tights, a synthetic thermal top, a merino "beanie" cap, and gloves. A third bag held a lightweight down jacket, a micro-fleece jacket and a wool jumper. Into the fourth bag went my new waterproof jacket and trousers.

Next, I readied my navigation system. I was trialling an iPhone 4 in an "Otter" waterproof case and powered by a solar-powered "Power Monkey Explorer". Relying on technology without testing it extensively beforehand would prove to be a serious mistake. Be warned.

Then, I prepared my health and hygiene system: a basic first aid kit (waterproof bandaids, ibobrufen tablets, a bandage in case of sprains, anti-fungal foot cream) plus a washing kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, razor and small micro-fibre travel towel.) I don't carry soap on the trail. It's not because I like to be a grub but because I do my best not to pollute.

Into another small sandwich bag I placed the items for what I rather dramatically call my "Survival System". It contains two knives (an ancient Swiss Army knife I've had forever and a small Opinel single blade pocket knife), a Silva compass on a lanyard, a disposable lighter, a magnesium fire-starter, a short length of candle, a head-torch, dark glasses, driver's license , two credit cards "just in case" and a little cash. This bag stays with me all the time. On the trail, I wear the compass, fire-starter and my glasses.

Finally, I turned to the "Mind System". These are the things I take to provide intellectual stimulation (if one has the energy for such a thing after hours thrashing up hill and down dale burdened like one of those over-worked donkeys spinster ladies are forever setting up charities for.) This is made up of a 64 page school exercise book, three pens, a small tripod, a tiny microphone and lead for podcasting and of course, the iPhone with its excellent still and video camera, voice recording and iBook apps.

These basic systems complete, I turned to the "completely unnecessary but nice to have" system: a small tin box with a picture of Marilyn Monroe on the lid that Rosa gave me ages ago and handy for all those little odds and ends that crop up on the trail, a necklace of prayer beads a friend and Hare Krishna devotee pressed on me in hopes of my spiritual conversion (never in a month of Sundays, I fear) and a battered little book containing tramping wisdom another friend thought would be useful.

It doesn't seem like much but after I had stuffed and re-stuffed all these systems into my blue rucksack, it bulged like an over-stuffed anaconda digesting a family of goats.

By now, Rosa had returned and watched my preparations with that expression of pity, amusement and superiority that I knew so well. It says as plainly as words, "As much as I love you, we both know that this will end in tears." My mother does it, my sisters do it, my daughter and step-daughter do it, girlfriends in the past have done it. Women must take it in with their mother's milk, I swear.

"Try putting it on," she suggested helpfully from the armchair. She leaned back comfortably and got ready to gloat.

I gave an experimental tug. The bag just sat there. I tightened what passes for my abdominal six pack and adopted a nonchalant expression, bent my knees and exerted all my strength. I wish I could say that hunter-like I swung it gracefully onto my broad shoulders, while my biceps rippled like pythons bunching. In fact, I couldn't stifle a small wheeze of surprise and pain. My knees buckled and I staggered a little on the Persian carpet.

"How does that feel, darling?" Rosa asked, twisting the knife.

"Alright," I whimpered, adjusting the waist belt with some difficulty.

"Well! Looks like you're ready to go then!" she remarked brightly. "How about a glass of that wine?"

Gratefully but carefully, I eased the pack back down. A floorboard creaked. I straightened with some difficulty. Rosa smiled and it seemed as if generations of women smiled with her.

"Good idea, darling," I said.

It's Time to Fly

People have been asking, "When are you off, Richard?" "When I'm ready," I reply.

Now I'm ready. It's a new moon, New Zealand's unpredictable weather has settled down (for the moment) and there's a 'Village Gathering' party tonight in Grey Lynn when I can say, "See you on the trail, mon brave" to those I want to.

Monday morning is "I'm Off Day". At this stage, I'm hitch-hiking the six or so hours' drive north to Cape Reinga but whenever I mention it, Rosa gets that look in her eyes which tells me, "Over my dead body!"

Still, she humours me as we drive to the hall where the Village Gathering is being held.

These events happen four times a year. Two good friends and occasional walking companions of mine, Roger Monkton and Johnnie Coombs, organise them. I've only been to one before and I'm looking forward to it because for me, it's pure theatre. 100 or so radicals, alternatives, activists, artists, bohemians and unalloyed eccentrics get together to share food, listen to music and poetry, watch fireworks and generally let their hair down on and off the dance floor. There's a lot of hair and it's had a lot of time to grow. The average age of "gatherers" is about sixty so we're talking serious commitment to the cause.

The evening got off to a wonderful start when Rosa was invited to open the Gathering party by blessing the food. We stood in a big circle around tables laden with nut loaves, veggie "glop" of various hues and the odd forlorn wheel of cheese (no doubt brought by those too anxious or rushed to cook).

I kept a close eye on the cheese wheels (I had no intention of starting my travels with a thunderous series of vegetable-induced gases) as we held hands and connected.

Rosa gave a beautiful blessing: "On the eve of my husband's departure, I'd like us to wish him a safe journey as he walks from the top of NZ to the bottom over the next three months."

Silence. I don't know that many people here but hey, come on, a little "Bravo!" would be nice.

Rosa carried on briskly. "Now to bless the food. Mother Nature, who comes to our table as food, endlessly bountiful benefactor of all, we ask that this food is blessed and filled with peace and harmony."

Her lovely voice was as clear as a bell. Silence descended on the room for a sweet moment. Then the circle broke around the tables, like small waves around rocks. "Ladies first, please!" Johnny called. Abashed, hungry men-folk fell back.

Paper plate in hand at last, it was time to look for someone I didn't know.

I found a lonely figure standing shyly by a doorway: tall, thin, bowed, a mop of white curly hair floating like a downy nimbus around his face and shoulders. I introduced myself with my customary polish. He answered so quietly I had to strain to hear his name.

"What do you do?" I asked next.

He offered a shy smile. "I love birds," he said.

"Feathered ones?" I asked. You never can tell at a Village Gathering party.

"Yes, All feathered birds. I love them."

I collected my thoughts while I nibbled the rind off some supermarket Edam. Decision time: do I stay and talk or do I ever-so-politely brush off this avian-obsessed stranger and find someone else to get to know?

The gentleness of his voice helped me decide to stay. I'm glad I did.

He told me about badminton, which he plays once a week.

"What do you like about it?" I asked.

He closed his eyes for a long pause, then opened them again.

"It opens a doorway into parts of me that are dark and usually closed," he said. "And I bring along my birds in six or seven cages and put them along the court. They like to watch the shuttlecock. It teaches them new ways to fly."

"Wow!" I said. "The other players must love you!"

"They call me 'Bird Man,' he said with a sweet smile.

I could have listened to Bird Man all evening. He was a true poet. Is this what St Francis saw in birds?

"I keep my eyes down when I walk," he explained. "I'm looking for wounded birds. I try to heal them myself but when I can't, I take them to the sanctuary. If they die, it puts a hole in my heart which can only be filled by one that lives."

Yes, the time is right to leave the nest.

And there's a hole in my heart and in Rosa's heart. And we'll fill it with stories and experiences along the trail.

We're ready to walk (or maybe hop). Thank you, Bird Man.

I'm off tomorrow. See you on the trail, mon brave.

Welcome to Power Monkey

Power Monkey When I started walking and camping as a boy, the first men had just landed on the Moon.

Now, I'll be carrying a phone with more computing power than those astronauts could have dreamed of.

But, how do you keep that power-hungry little monster charged up?

Here's the solution I decided on.

Today, we dropped in to meet Guy (the owner of Top Gear on Rosedale Road) and to pick up the Power Monkey Explorer I'd found on Trade Me for $139.00.

This piece of gear will be important to me because it's how I'll keep my iPhone 4 charged during this trip.  And I'm packing that modern marvel because of its camera, built in library of books, maps and trail notes, compass, back-up flashlight and much more (including, of course, text, telephone and internet.)

First impressions of the solar charger are good. It feels solid enough to have a reassuring heft. You can charge it using mains electricity, via USB and a computer or by solar power.

So far, all three methods work. A full charge on the Power Monkey should replenish your iPhone's battery twice before you need to recharge "Curious George" (as I'll call it.)

Look out for a more in-depth review. Until then, here's a photo of the solar charger, battery and iPhone/iPod attachment with a little selfie of my hand to give it some scale.

Go Cheap, Go Safe, Go Now

Earlier this year, after completing a 450 kilometre trek over 30 days with my stepson Valentino, I (and especially Rosa) had been disappointed by the performance of our $200 trekking shoes, which had begun to fall apart within three weeks. By the time we returned to Auckland, the rubber cladding at the front of my shoes had come unglued and drooped outwards, like the tongues of a pair of thirsty dogs. At the shop we bought them from, our complaints fell on deaf ears.

So, today Rosa and I went into Macpac on Vulcan Lane in Auckland City. Valentino and I had unloaded a ton of cash there a year ago while gearing up. The manageress greeted us with warm whimpers of expectation.

Alas, she was to be disappointed. Rosa fixed her with the kind of steely look that told her, "Don't mess me around."

I sat back and watched the performance.

Rosa said, "My husband's walking the Te Araroa. He needs a pair of boots. Can you guarantee a pair that will last?"

To her great credit, the manageress said she couldn't. In fact, she counselled that it may take as many as four pairs to walk the trail.

I could see Rosa digest the information. "At $500 per pair, that would be $2000 just for boots!" she exclaimed. When she gets over-excited, she adopts an Irish accent.

"Lord help us, you'll be the ruin of me!" she cried, rounding on me.

"Well, I don't need them," I said helpfully.

The manageress, who had observed this exchange with bemusement, tactfully excused herself and made for the stock room where she had just remembered some urgent business.

So, that was the end of the new boots idea, may it rest in peace.

What I do want to tell anyone contemplating anything from a day's tramp to one of many months, is that you really don't need to spend a prince's ransom to get onto the trail cheaply, safely and above all, now.

Here's how you do it.

Frequent "op" (for "opportunity") shops (or "good will" stores in the USA).

We've been doing it for years, ever since we became penniless students while studying hypnotherapy and nutrition in the UK just as the GFC struck.

It's just amazing what you can find, given a little time, imagination and cultivating relationships with the staff. Tell them what you're after and if they find it (and they nearly always do), they'll put it to one side for you.

So, for my journey, here's what I'm taking from op shops:

  • Glasses (near perfect prescription, sturdy steel frames) $5.00
  • Walking shorts (perfect condition, lightweight, fast drying) $1.00
  • New Balance trail running shoes (near brand new, perfect fit) $7.00
  • Columbia rain jacket and trousers (brand new) $20.00
  • Black merino wool jumper $3.00

If I'd bought all this new, it would have cost about $900 instead of $36.

The rest of my gear is all well-used and around ten years old.

One of my favourite items of clothing is a long-sleeved running shirt made of some super-wicking material called "Coolmax". I found it in the "goody bag" after completing the Annapolis 10 Mile Road Race back in 1996. I wore it for two marathons afterwards, countless cool weather runs and many tramps. That shirt has history and I love it like a brother.

You really don't need to spend a fortune on expensive high-tech gear to have a safe and enjoyable time on the trail.

Go cheap, go safe and above all, go now.

Born to Be Wild

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="642,641,643"] Rosa and I drove into Devonport yesterday to meet Michael, owner of Hammock World.

A year ago, Michael sold me my trusty Hennessy Hammock, which has become an indispensable part of my tramping gear. I always rave about it to other trampers I meet on the trail and recommend Michael. So, I gave him a call to suggest that perhaps we could work together. He generously agreed to a meeting.

Besides being a former mountain guide, Michael is quite the Kiwi entrepreneur. It turns out that he has a container full of brand-new sleeping and survival systems, which he designed. He calls this new product the "Survival Outdoor System".

Like a lot of entrepreneurs (including me), he's discovering that having a product is one thing. Bringing it successfully into the market is quite another.

Showing me gear like this is like showing a little boy a train set six months before Christmas. I just had to have it! I suppose he saw that tell-tale gleam in my eyes. Before I knew it and to my utter delight and surprise, he tossed it to me and said, "It's yours!"

So, not only am I the proud owner of what my wife Rosa calls a "onesies" (you know, hooded pyjamas) but I now have a new job description as the official field tester for the Survival Outdoor System.

Thank you, Michael!

Stay tuned for my field review. Until then, here's me happily posing in my tramping "onesies"

Hey, I'm born to be wild, that's for sure.

"Bye, Mum"

Where would we be without our mums? I don't know about yours but mine is a down-to-earth woman of Finnish descent.

She doesn't talk much. If a conversation goes on for too long, she has a habit of sliding silently out of the room. One moment she's there, the next moment she's not. In our family, we call her "The Grey Ghost."

But when she speaks, you better listen. She can put more punch into a sentence than most. I and many others value her opinion.

I put in my weekly call yesterday on Skype and broke the news.

"Hi, mum. How are you?"

"Oh, fine!" she said, wheezing lightly as she inhaled on a cigarette. She'd given me a smack last year when I suggested she stop smoking.

I told her my plan to walk 3000 kilometres.

She was silent as she puffed again.

"Well," she said thoughtfully. "It could be worse."

I didn't ask how.

"Get Lost"

Running along the beach at Milford on Auckland's North Shore every morning, I see a few older men walking very small dogs. Some of those pooches sport pink collars and some of those collars are studded with diamantine beads. Milford is that type of suburb. Have you noticed how the more "bling" the dog wears, the more stooped, grumpy and hopeless the old chap on the other end of the leash looks? I can't help but imagine that each of those unfortunate (and presumably once powerful) men still has the words, "Get lost!", reverberating through his neural synapses.

You can almost hear the conversation.´

She: "What are you doing today, dear?"

He (grumpy): "Dunno."

She: (lips pursed): "Well, I've got the girls coming round for coffee. Why don't you take Jewel out for a walk on the beach? Do take your time, dear. You know what the doctor said about how good exercise is for your heart."

What's the wife really saying?  "Get lost, dear."

And that's basically what my wife Rosa is saying to me.

The irony is not lost on me. I want to get lost. I like getting lost. Great things can happen when you cast loose the usual moorings of your wretched little existence and try something so off-the-wall it makes you curl your toes in the shower and go, "Aaarrgh! What am I doing!"

However, just because I want to get lost, doesn't mean Rosa should want it as well.

Unfortunately, she does.

And I know why. We've spent far too long on our last audio project, "Step Into Nature's Therapy Room". We're very satisfied with the result but now we need some space.

I heard her talking to her sister on the telephone. "Oh, he'll be fine," she says. "And between you and me, I'm thrilled. I can get on with what I want to do."

Today, she came home from the Takapuna Sunday Markets with a huge bunch of white roses she had bought for herself.

"Because I wanted to," she said.

And, she's painted her toenails.

"Because they look nice," she told me.

I called the shade, 'Get Lost Pink'.

She laughed, "Don't be silly! Let's call it, 'Keep It Fresh!'"

I love this woman and always will. However, it's time for me to get lost and take a long refreshing walk.

About The "Rewire Your Business Brain" Program


Definitely worth the investment to help anyone cope with the everyday business pressure that is part of our society. Gives you the insight and practical solutions that can make you successful and stress free in your business.


This programme is good to attend if you have some area of your life that is not working the way you want it to. It is motivating and puts you back on track in life.

Sony Vasandani, Entrepreneur

Good opportunity for you to stop and look at where you are with your life and bring up areas you may have been avoiding or ignoring so you can start to move forward.

John Raneri, Raneri Enterprises

Don't wait. Make the decision to be proactive in your life. Richard can teach you how to find the work-life balance we all crave. Learn to appreciate the small things again!

Hayley Pennycuick, Fencescape Fencing Caboolture.

It is really valuable to understand how increasing things like our relationship time, rest time, nutrition, exercise, and appreciation of things around us can expand our thinking and in turn, help us to be more successful and happy in our business!

Nicole Fraine, Psychologist

If you feel 'stuck' with where your life is taking you or if your business is not growing, this program is a unique way of changing mindsets. Fears, belief systems, reprogramming your way of thinking and discovering what it is you really want out of life and business... Find out what success really is and ultimately happiness- for you.

Vera Raneri, Raneri Enterprises

Come and build your confidence and belief in your own ability to succeed. Make a belief it will happen and learn that you are only limited by your mindset. Learn to appreciate what you have and set goals.

Rob Pennycuick, Fencescape Fencing Caboolture and All Building Services.

Highly recommended. It is our experience of events and how we feel and think about those that shape our lives up until this point. We can't change what has already to us but we can change how we think about those experiences and events and how we think and create a better future.

Tina Nalty, Nalty Co.

Having a creative and visionary brain, I can be inundated with never-ending ideas... great for the role I play in other people's businesses but distracting in my own!! Working with Richard, I now have the tools to define my focus and hit my targets with pinpoint precision.

Lucinda Coalter, Querky Media

Business strategies are 10x more powerful when your business brain is wired to see and take on bigger opportunities. The Rewire Your Business Brain 42 Day Programme does that and more. Richard and Rosa want you to succeed and they have the tools to make it happen. Thank you. I'm grateful for all that you have you've shown and taught me.

George Bakrnchev, Red Day Coaching

Richard delivers… Absolutely!

Janet Blake, Jababird Ltd

Richard is a fascinating person with a positive, simple message to share.

Trevor Gilliland, Caloundra Law

Very expansive. Broad application. Very inspiring.

Ellise Goodrich, High Priestess Productions

I wholeheartedly recommend Richard’s coaching and program to people who need to overcome stress and anxiety in business.

Madeleine Bridges,

Broad and up to date.

Ross Smith, EcoFit Australia

Richard is an inspiring speaker who has “walked the walk” and is willing to share his learning.

Marilyn Colvin-Boon, The Alternative Centre

I found Richard to be a very engaging and thought-provoking speaker. I have gained a greater understanding of the way our brains subconsciously influence our actions, decisions and choices we make.

Bernard Kasteel, Principal at Ribakasteell Chartered Accountants

I think you are terrific, Richard. I have attended the Landmark Seminar Series, Forum and the Advanced Course. In a nutshell, I believe you have captured exactly the idea behind why these seminars are so successful. I am absolutely confident that your Rewiring programs work. Please continue to deliver what many people need to get absolute fulfilment from their lives.

Sandy Riba, Principal Ribakasteel Chartered Accountants

Focus, clarity and a mind-altering experience. Richard delivers an excellent, well-researched and balanced look at the neuroscience of success in a business context.

Jeremy Britton, 24 Hour Wealth Coach

Highly, highly recommended. We can’t change what has already happened to us but we can change how we think and feel about those experiences. Richard shows you exactly how to create a better future by rewiring how we can free ourselves from the outdated neural patterns that hold us back.

Tina Nalty, Nalty Co.

Come and build your confidence and belief in your own ability to succeed. You are limited only by your mindset. Learn to appreciate what you have and set clear goals. Richard shows you exactly how to stop working in circles.

Name Withheld

It is incredibly valuable to understand how increasing things like exercise, relationship time, rest, nutrition and appreciation can expand our brains and our create a positive success-oriented mindset. From an evidence-based perspective, it is cleat that happiness and success helps the bottom-line of your business.

-Nicola Fraine, Psychologist

Don’t wait. Make the decision to be proactive in your life. Richard teaches you how to find the work-life balance we all crave.

Hayley Pennycuick, Fencescape Fencing

"Rewire Your Brain for Health" Workshops

Feedback from participants who attended the "Rewire Your Brain for Health" one day workshops by Richard Margesson with Christine Maudy on the Sunshine Coast, Australia.

If you are ready or searching for a new direction in your life, if you have an interest and appreciation of energy effects at a personal and global level, you can gain real benefit from this workshop. Richard and Christine are well studied and passionate examples of the important principles imparted. Nothing to lose on this day and so much to gain. Life changing.

Testimonial from Ellen Reiner, RYB for Health 1, 17/03/12

Hear how you can improve your life. Use your time better. Be more aware of nature.

Val Colless RYB for Health 2, 27/05/12

If you are feeling stuck or in a rut, this is a fabulous course to take a positive step forward to achieving the life you desire.

Karen Veltmeyer, Sunshine Coast Exercise Physiology, RYB for Health 2, 27/05/12

Think about a problem and find a simple step to start solving it."

Brenton Schwab, RYB for Health 2, 27/05/12

Full of information and tools that make it easy to understand and take away. Understanding what happens is often all that is needed to make the necessary changes.

Frederic Canal, Virtual Ninja, RYB for Health 2, 27/05/12

The workshop helps to clarify your mind and find solutions to create the life you want to live. It inspires you to take the time to do things which make your heart sing; to take small, simple steps to make big changes which will improve your life. It is a very informative and motivating day of learning and sharing.

Samantha Willert, RYB for Health 2, 27/05/12

This workshop is a gift- a whole day in which to identify areas of problematic habits and unachieved goals and then to refine in small steps how to eliminate the bad habits and acquire new positive ones. In a friendly, gentle atmosphere, one is guided to realise and become congruent with one's values and goals.

Nicola Wisse, Birchgrove Farm, RYB for Health 2, 27/05/12

Join the dots to create happiness.'Rewire Your Brain for Health teaches you how.

Nicole Hoffman, Owner Café Envy, RYB for Health 2, 27/05/12

A Successful Quit Smoking Client writes...


Hi Richard,

Thank you for enabling me to become a non-smoker. Your programme definitely worked instantly, and although I had cravings for a cigarette in the weeks following the hypnotherapy session with you, I had the control to easily get through these moments. I have also gained confidence in myself in my day to day life, I feel from listening to the cd daily and am definitely certain that I am a non-smoker for life. Would recommend your programme to anybody that needed to remove any addiction or habit from their life.


Brad Herberte


A Home Business Entrepreneur and Mum emails...

After our session, I felt exhausted. I went home, chatted briefly with my husband and had to lie down for an hour! Very unlike me to sleep during the day. Yesterday I continually replayed my "movie" of how I wanted the day to unfold. I had several pangs of anxiety in the afternoon as it was a bit of a rush getting everything prepared for my demo but just kept reminding myself that it was normal to feel a bit nervous before a "performance". The ladies were due at 4.45 but did not show till 5.00 so I got 5 minutes of quiet breathing time in after all.

Though I was a bit anxious at the start (and a bit too chatty!) I soon got into the rhythm and my demo came off on time and without a hitch. I got 3 bookings out of it and 1 very keen customer so I'm really pleased. I asked the ladies to give me an honest appraisal at the end - all 3 of them told me I'd done a "fantastic job" and that I was "a natural". Who would've thought?? I listened to my CD again last night when I went to bed and for the first time in months, slept through the night and woke without any recollection of dreaming. Also very unusual for me.  So I'd have to say, it looks like you've done a pretty good job!

I will make contact if/when I feel I need to book another session. In the meanwhile, many heartfelt thanks.

Mrs. A. S. Sunshine Coast


A Home Share Trader Writes...

 "I simply can't speak highly enough of my treatment," says Rob from Buderim

A good friend recommended Richard to me. At the time, I was in a very dark place with no clear way of climbing out and with my family disintegrating around me. 

From his very first email to me, I sensed I had a strong ally in my corner at last. Within a few minutes of meeting him, my confidence and belief in myself started to return. Richard's consulting room became a weekly 'raft of comfort' for me. He even dispensed cups of tea with words of wisdom!

I started treatment highly sceptical about hypnosis but became an immediate convert. Together with the focus on finding real-life solutions, the extreme relaxation of hypnosis meant I left each session feeling stronger, more optimistic and with new positive thinking patterns. The way Richard gives a context of scientific validity by weaving in neuroscience and the history of humanity's ancestral resilience is exceptional.

Richard's form of therapy truly pushes the frontiers of change- it's a fresh and exciting approach and best of it all, it works! He helped me gain the ability to go beyond what I thought I could achieve. He drew out the best in me and helped me build on that.

And he gives incredible value for money. On their own, each session was more than worth the fee. But to get the standard of complimentary follow-on support he delivers through CDs, eBooks and email backup between sessions is exceptional. He is truly sincere, passionate and conscientious about caring for others.

I simply can't speak highly enough of my treatment. I'm back with my family now and we're all doing really well. Richard's voice still goes with me in times of challenge. So, if you're in a dark spot or can't seem to get on top of a difficulty, run- don't walk- to make an appointment with him.

Rob (surname withheld on request)



Testimonial from a Sales Professional Who Quit Smoking

 "3 months later I am completely smoke free," says Christine from the Sunshine Coast

My name is Christine and I don't smoke.

I used to. I look back now and think how repulsive an addiction it really is. I met Richard through a recommendation, always the best advertising, and nearly three months later I am completely smoke-free and I feel great.

Hypnosis really is a magical experience and so very enlightening, although secretly, at the time I did have some reservations as to the outcome. So with absolutely no side effects and definitely no desire to ever want to "self abuse" myself in that way again, I am completely convinced that without the wonderful experience that Richard shared with me during our consultation, I would still be on that merry-go-round of stop/start!

There will always be triggers in your life and its so easy to use that as an excuse to give in to smoke, but to overcome that is the best and sweetest victory of all.

Thank you, Richard for your presence and giving me the belief in myself to control my smoking habit.

For anyone contemplating this challenge, please, you owe it to yourself to be the best you possibly can be, and smoking just does not fit that picture. Richard will give you all the tools you need to overcome this habitual cycle and take it from me, you will not regret making this decision.

Christine from the Sunshine Coast (surname withheld by request)


A Keen Golfer writes...

I consulted Richard for help with improving my golf game. I've always been very athletic and a high performer but feelings of anger and tension whenever I made poor shots were ruining my enjoyment of the game. I wasn't quite at the club throwing stage but I could sense it might go there. I was even thinking of giving up the game altogether. Richard helped me feel comfortable and relaxed from our very first meeting. He gave me a clear explanation of how my mind worked and a clear treatment plan. This helped me understand what was going wrong and most importantly, what I could do to start relaxing and enjoying my game again. Right from the start, he helped me feel confident that by focusing on what I wanted, I could get it.

I really enjoyed visiting his consulting room which is totally non-clinical and more like a comfortable lounge room at home. It put me at ease and made it really easy to take the warm, relaxed and confident atmosphere back home and into daily life.

Within a few sessions, my relationship with the game had totally changed. I genuinely couldn't wait to play and if I made a poor shot, it just didn't matter. I could shrug it off, regroup quickly and keep going with a smile on my face. I felt wonderful about hearing compliments from my husband and other golfing partners. I discovered that my personal relationships improved as well. All those little irritations and niggles I had with people just seemed to melt away.

When I felt confident that the changes in my mental outlook were working, Richard encouraged me to start spacing out our sessions. As he promised, it really does take only about 6 weeks of consistent practice to rewire the brain in positive ways!

The CDs Richard provides as part of his treatment really work. I love the convenience of being able to listen to them whenever I wanted to. They are like having a therapist in your pocket: you can just reach in and pull out your coach whenever you need to. Weeks after our sessions ended, I'm still listening to them!

I feel like I have got the 'real me' back- I'm confident, happy and relaxed, not just on the golf course but in any environment. And my husband is thrilled by the changes I have made. I whole-heartedly recommend Richard's wonderful treatment to anyone whose enjoyment of the game of life (and golf) is being ruined by negative thinking.

Denise, Sunshine Coast (surname withheld by request)

A Nutritionist and Small Business Woman writes...

 "Hypnotherapy truly changed my life," says Nutritionist Bridget from Tewantin

Hypnotherapy with Richard truly CHANGED my life and enabled me to THINK MORE CLEARLY and NOT FEEL PRESSURISED. He is a fully-accredited and masterful psychotherapist who specialises in hypnotherapy. He is a master of the mind and has an incredible background. I trust him implicitly :)

I still listen to Richard's self-hypnosis tracks FIRST thing upon waking... before I even get out of bed. CRAZY wonderful things have happened to me since listening to these daily.

When I was at my most stressed/anxious/depressed, I listened to them DURING THE DAY- as like a break to bring my CORTISOL levels (horrific stress hormone- at least when it is being pumped into your bloodstream as it does when you feel negative/stressed/pressured/threatened in some way) down and get me thinking clearly and rationally again.

Going through life with a muddled mind and brain is like trying to drive your car with a muddy windscreen- foolish AND dangerous! It is SO easy to simply take the time to pull over, clear the windscreen, THEN continue on driving... THAT is exactly how I explain using hypnotherapy to other people- at least that is what it does for me! Cleans my mental windscreen! hehe :)

I guess Mr Margesson is kinda one of my gurus right now- not that I want to be like him or live his life, I just really RESONATE with everything he has taught me so far AND I truly credit HIS WORK to helping me get out of the pit out depression, anxiety, fear, procrastination and stagnation I scarily found myself in not so long ago..! SO IN KNOW THIS WORKS! :)

If you really feel like you NEED A CHANGE in your life... make time and space for this! I PROMISE, it WILL make a difference!! ;)

Bridget Thompson, founder of New Leaf Nutrition in Tewantin


A Cruising Yacht Tour Operator Writes...


"The hypnotism sessions were just wonderful," enthuses Mrs W from the Sunshine Coast

I first consulted Richard when I was troubled with inability to sleep, ringing in my ears and massive anxiety all due to worry and stress over my son's and daughter-in-law's unborn baby who the doctors thought might have birth defects.

Richard, who is a gifted counsellor, immediately put me at ease with his calm, professional manner and good advice.

The hypnotism sessions were just wonderful and even after the first session, I felt calmer and my stress levels dropped. The treatments helped me to put away negative thoughts and to feel happy and more positive.

I was able to sleep properly again, the ringing in my ears (tinnitus) stopped and I felt my happy and enthusiastic self again.

A few months later my little grandson was born with only a tiny problem which can be fixed with a small operation.

I thoroughly recommend Richard and his marvellous treatment to everyone out there suffering from the horrible debilitating symptoms of stress, anxiety and addictions.

Mrs W from the Sunshine Coast (full name withheld by request)