Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

Couple to walk Bluff to Cape Reinga to fundraise for Nepal

Carl Hutchinson and Adele-Ivy Harris will begin their journey in Bluff on January 22 and expect it will take them 5-6 months.
Carl Hutchinson and Adele-Ivy Harris will begin their journey in Bluff on January 22 and expect it will take them 5-6 months.

After seeing the state of Nepal following the devastating 2015 earthquake, intrepid couple Carl Hutchinson and Adele-Ivy Harris knew they needed to do more to help.

The British pair, who have been living in New Zealand since July last year, will walk from Bluff to Cape Reinga to raise money for the Nepalese rebuild.

The couple were travelling in Nepal when the 7.8 magnitude quake struck last April, killing almost 8900 people and causing widespread devastation.

They will begin the 3000km Te Araroa Trail on Friday and estimate it will take five to six months to complete.

"We spent a week helping with the clean up after the earthquake but we had to leave because we had already booked our departing flight," Ms Harris said.

"Leaving Nepal, we knew we needed to do more.

"We thought a trek would be fitting because trekking is one of the main reasons people go to Nepal and the earthquake has been a big blow to their tourism industry."

The couple, whose main adventure experience is one-day hikes, intend to trek 20km a day and have a rest day every eight days.

They plan to mostly stay in a tent but will also stay in Department of Conservation huts and friends' homes.

"The most important thing for us is to make as much money as we can for Nepal," Mr Hutchinson said.

"We were just there for the initial clean-up tasks; clearing away rubble, building bamboo shelters and temporary tarpaulin shelters.

"There's still so much that needs to be done."

The couple hope to raise $10,000 through their Givealittle page, and fundraising in towns and cities they walk through.

All money raised will go to the Himalayan Trust's Nepal earthquake rebuild.

"It'll be challenging, mentally and physically," Mr Hutchinson said.

"When we finish it will definitely be the hardest, but also most rewarding thing we've ever done."

Himalayan Trust general manager Prue Smith said the money raised by the couple would be an enormous help to their ongoing rebuild work.

It would go towards rebuilding classrooms, teachers' quarters, student hostels and toilet blocks in about 30 schools in the Everest region.

"We are estimating it may take five years to repair and rebuild all the damaged buildings in the isolated Everest region where we work, particularly as we want to make sure the new classrooms meet seismic-resilient building codes to better ensure the safety of children and teachers in case of a similar disaster."

• To support Carl and Adele go to: https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/walk4nepal/

- NZ Herald

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