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'Every single day, it’s in my mind and in my heart' - The epic tale of Te Araroa Trail
It was a brutal way to complete a 3000km hike the length of New Zealand.
Bruce Hopkins was getting blown sideways in 70kmh westerly winds as he walked along the shoulder of State Highway 1 between Invercargill and Bluff, as trucks hurtled past.
The final leg of Te Araroa Trail, which he had begun from Cape Reinga nearly seven months earlier, was supposed to be a time of reflection and joy.
Instead, it was a time of high alert for Hopkins, a New Zealand actor who portrayed Gamling in Lord of the Rings.
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