Week on the Walkway – Week One

The New Plymouth Coast walkway was originally opened in 2003, with the latest construction opening the full length in 2010.  It stretches 11k from Bell Block to the Port of Taranaki.

There is by far no place that I’ve spent more time over the past year than on this walkway.  We began living in New Plymouth with Rod’s parents in Bell Block and I got used to morning runs past cows and would use the Te Rewa Rewa bridge as my turn around point for small daily runs and the Port as my guide for longer ones.  We then moved to Gaine Street on the opposite end of the city, and I used the Wind Wand to direct me.  Now we are in the middle…so I have choices.

I cannot get enough of this walkway.  Growing up on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, I will never tire of running along black sand beaches. I love that the walkway is often scattered with people from all ages.  Mums pushing strollers, young kids on scooters, older people on scooters, runners, walkers and bikers, tourists capturing this stunning view, and locals getting some time outdoors during their lunch hour or on their commute home.

This walkway and my runs on it have truly helped me make sense of living in a new country, city, and culture.  I joke that I can solve world peace during my runs along this path.  There is nothing that can’t be sorted by a thought clearing walk along this view.

I would often see women walking together, engrossed in conversation, and I would always smile and think of my friends in New York, San Francisco and London and could almost hear our own conversation, filled with the worries and celebrations of the day.   I’ve been blessed to meet some beautiful, amazing women here in New Plymouth and now I too can walk along with them deep in conversation.

This past week there was so much going on, on the walkway.  First a beautiful rainbow, then a surf festival, and finally chalk graffiti of beauty, inspiration and wisdom.

This walkway was a true gift from the leaders of this region to all who experience it.  Those that had the vision, and determination to fund such an important public work.  It makes living in this city truly great.

I will point all of our guests that visit, straight down the street, just 3 blocks away, for a soul expanding wander along the coast.