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GO NZ: Te Araroa changed my life walking across New Zealand | Instant News


Laura Waters, pictured at Masons Hut, the last shack on the South Island on the Te Araroa Trail. Photo / Laura Waters

My eyes cloud as I think about the time I walked from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Here it is again, my friends must be thinking as I talk about the joys, tribulations, and amazing sights encountered during a 3000 km journey through this country. As far as a once-in-a-lifetime trip, setting foot in Te Araroa has been transformative, and its long-term effects on my life have only made it even more memorable. With the challenges of today’s world, fleeing into the wild is again a tantalizing choice.

Long-distance lines are gaining popularity around the world and in 2011 New Zealand launched its own line, a linear route connecting many pre-existing lines with several new links. In the north it winds from the west coast to the east and back again, via secluded beaches, mossy forest, the volcanic desert of Tongariro National Park, and knife-tipped ridges across the Tararua Mountains. To the south, a more direct route up and along the dramatic Southern Alps is required. About once a week, sometimes more often, the walkway intersects the city where hot showers and general stores offer the opportunity to refresh and recharge.

The Te Araroa Trail takes hikers across the country, from remote beaches in the North, to country tracks in the South.  Photo / Laura Waters
The Te Araroa Trail takes hikers across the country, from remote beaches in the North, to country tracks in the South. Photo / Laura Waters

When I left in 2013, Te Araroa was an unknown quantity, a trail that few people have managed to complete. Even though I had walked a dozen or more days under my belt, none were even more than 65 km so it was an experiment with fire on body and mind. I need it. After the closure of toxic relationships and the stress of city life, my world has been taken over by crippling anxiety and depression, the symptoms miraculously and magically disappearing within weeks of being immersed in the peace and simplicity of nature.

Then I fixed a problem I wasn’t even aware of. Walking the trails, I face countless challenges: steep, open mountains, sudden blizzards, a number of unobstructed river crossings, dubious trail signs, shoulder dislocations and, not least, loss of hiking companions. I got injured on the second day. But in overcoming this challenge I found a hitherto untapped inner intellect and courage. I learned to adapt to the environment, listen to my heart’s content and overcome fear. I found I was able to do more than I realized and I noticed how little you need to be happy – food, shelter, and a bag of belongings is enough. It is clear that life can be fun if you simplify it and eliminate the “noise.” The insights gained during those five months changed my life forever, leading to a career change and a substantial re-establishment of personal beliefs and worldviews.

Upper Travers Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park, one of the DoC huts on the Te Araroa trail.  Photo / Laura Waters
Upper Travers Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park, one of the DoC huts on the Te Araroa trail. Photo / Laura Waters

Taking the entire route will give you an experience like no other, but if you can’t spare the time or energy to wade the 3000 km, consider climbing the section, taking bite-sized stages over a long period of time. Alternatively, choose an interesting part of the cherry. The stretch from St Arnaud to Boyle Village, across from Nelson’s Lake National Park on the South Island, really evokes a few tears from me as I see its beautiful snow-capped mountains, fast-flowing rivers and vast boulder fields.

A solitary prostitute descending towards Lake Tekapo on the Te Araroa Line.  Photo / Laura Waters
A solitary prostitute descending towards Lake Tekapo on the Te Araroa Line. Photo / Laura Waters

If you’re curious to know what it’s like to have the beach all to yourself for four days, the first 100 kilometers south of Cape Reinga follows the secluded golden trail of Ninety Mile Beach. Mount Pirongia, in Waikato, marks the first true mountain range for hikers to the south and a two-day portion of its steep green mossy cliffs. Real delights are lesser-known finds such as the stunning jungle on North Island Hakarimata Road or Telford Tops on the Takitimu Trail to the south. The four-day Mavora Walkway, south of Queenstown, is also renowned for its lakes, mountains, beech forest and amazing sense of isolation.

The highlight of the trail – which incidentally doesn’t involve walking – is the 200 kilometers paddling up the Whanganui River. Kayaks and canoes can be rented at Taumarunui for a six-day paddle out to sea in Whanganui. About 200 rapids are scattered along the route, light enough for beginners to traverse yet foamy enough to get their heart racing. In some places, the river carves its way through steep-sided canyon walls dotted with ferns and gushing waterfalls, and campsites overlooking snaking water are some of the most beautiful places I have ever come across.

The Te Araroa Trail passes through the misty and misty forests of the Tararua Mountains.  Photo / Laura Waters
The Te Araroa Trail passes through the misty and misty forests of the Tararua Mountains. Photo / Laura Waters

Most of the nights on the North Island are spent in tents, but on the South Island, hikers can make use of many DoC huts on their way, especially when the weather turns challenging. Buying an inland cottage entry ticket will give you access to all the huts on the trail and while some have all the sophistication and comfort of a garden shed, others are double-layered masterpieces with cozy wood-burning stoves and five-star views.

I’m not going to cover it with sugar, walk all day, every day, need a little energy. I made it past the 10kg Whittakers in the five months it took me to complete the trail and I’m still losing weight (ah, those were the days). Te Araroa is also not for the faint of heart. The terrain is quite challenging at times and can be exposed to bad weather, but nothing compares to the feeling of being completely connected to the mainland as you peer through your flying tent as the moon rises over the remote Ahuriri River Valley. Or the shadow of a killer whale’s dorsal fin slicing through the surface of Queen Charlotte Sound as you follow the ridge trail above. Or a softer owl chirp in the dark northern forest night. Moments like magic make the trouble worth it.

Laura Waters is the author of Bewildered’s memoir, about her 3,000km hike along New Zealand.


The Te Araroa Trail stretches 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff and takes between 4-6 months to complete. Topographic maps, track records and further information can be downloaded from teararoa.org.nz

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com

This story was first published in the New Zealand Herald Travel on October 1

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Geneva, Switzerland will have the Highest Minimum Wage in the World | Instant News

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Residents of the canton of Geneva (Switzerland) voted in a referendum on September 27, to pronounce in favor of a minimum wage of 23 Swiss francs per hour (25 dollars), the equivalent of about 4,450 dollars per month, thus reaching highest monthly salary in the world .

About 58% of voters support the new measure, which will take effect in mid-October and will benefit 30,000 employees in the region. Michel Charrat, president of Groupement Transfrontalier Européen , an independent organization supporting workers on the Franco-Swiss border, called the vote a “ sign of solidarity ” with the urban poor, who are considered one of the best places in the world to live.

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Pandemic as an eye opener

“ COVID-19 has shown that certain sectors of the Swiss population cannot live in Geneva, ” Charrat said explaining that it is more than 4,000 Swiss francs is the ” minimum to avoid falling below the poverty line ”.

According to Swiss media, the Coronavirus Pandemic provided a decisive impetus for this initiative, which Genevans had rejected in two previous consultations, in 2011 and 2014.

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Breast Cancer Surgery Rates Decline With Older Age, British Study Says | Instant News

Maggie L. Shaw

Older age has been shown to influence the decision among women to undergo surgery as a treatment option after a diagnosis of breast cancer in the UK, where the average life span is 82.9 years in 2016.

In the United Kingdom in 2015, nearly 55,000 women received a breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, more than a third of whom were over 70 years old. However, despite the proven safety of surgery as a treatment option in this group, older age, poor health, and weakness are still shown to influence the decision to undergo surgery after this diagnosis in the United Kingdom, where the average age of women increases from 80, 5 to 82.9 years from 2003 to 2016.

A research team reached this conclusion following their prospective multicenter observational cohort Bridging the Age Gap in Breast Cancer studied 3375 primary breast cancer surgery women who were recruited between February 2013 and June 2018 from 57 British Breast Units. Their mean age was 76 (range, 70-95) years, and 2816 (83.45%) underwent surgery, for 2,854 surgical events; Data for analysis is available for 99.1%.

There was a follow-up 2 years after surgery. After the initial assessment carried out before treatment, during this period, outcomes, adverse events, and quality of life (QOL) are measured at 6 weeks and 6 months, and every 6 months after surgery.

“Morbidity should not be underestimated, with the risk of seroma, wound complications and, in the long term, arm morbidity such as lymphoedema and disruption of shoulder movements after axillary surgery,” the authors wrote.

Mastectomy accounts for nearly 40% (1138) of operations, while more than 60% (1716) are breast conservation operations; 80.9% of breasts in the latter group also received adjuvant radiotherapy. Of the axillary operations investigated, axillary lymph node dissection was the 20% method (575) and sentinel node biopsy, 77% (2203).

The best predictors of choice for undergoing mastectomy are age, weakness, dementia, and comorbidity (multivariable odds ratio). [OR] for ages, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.05-1.08). In addition, age, weakness, and comorbidity were associated with choosing not to undergo axillary surgery (OR for age, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.87-0.96).

Tracing, following univariable analysis, the youngest group in this study (patients 70-74 years) had mastectomy in 29.9% of cases compared to 59.1% (P. <.001) of the oldest group (at least 85 years). Among patients with a Charlson 3 Comorbidity Index score compared with above 5, there was also a lower likelihood of choosing a mastectomy: 34.4% versus 44.7% (P. <.001).

In addition, weakness, as measured by the degree of independence in daily living activities (ADL; self-care), is associated with mastectomy in 2 steps:

  • Independence in all ADLs (IADL) versus dependency in 1 or more ADL domains: 38.8% versus 43.7% (P. = .032), respectively
  • In the IADL group, independence versus not in all domains: 38.2% versus 47.3% (P. <.001)

Bad events occur after less than 20% (551) operations, and no one dies with 30 days of their operation. However, besides functional independence, quality of life is negatively correlated with undergoing surgery at all.

Breast and underarm surgery is a low risk in certain patients in the elderly breast cancer population, although it is not without complications or impact on quality of life, and this must be taken into account, “the authors concluded. “Age remains an independent predictor of the type of care received by older women with breast cancer.”

Limitations of the study include that it is not random, which concludes inherent biases, and missing data in some patients.


Morgan JL, George J, Holmes G, et al. Breast cancer surgery in older women: results from the Bridging Age Gap in the Breast Cancer study. Br J Surg. Published online June 3 2020. doi: 10.1002 / bjs.11617


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Betty White will star in the film Lifetime Network Christmas at the age of 98 | Instant News

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (WEHT) – The seemingly tireless Betty White has agreed to star in the Christmas film Lifetime Network made for the upcoming TV, Entertainment Weekly said.

The network announced Thursday that White had signed to star in an untitled film.

From the plot, Lifetime teases: “White characters help prospective Santas for holidays. But a mystery seems: Is she really Mrs. Claus? “Guess we have to listen and find out!

The Pop Culture legend and eight-time Emmy winner were 98 on January 17.

White’s Hollywood career lasted more than eight decades.

He goes first Credit Film Internet Database is a 1945 short film in which he plays “Lou’s Girl,” in contrast to ‘Superman,’ George Reeves, the first on TV, ‘James Bond,’ Barry Nelson – and DeForest Kelley from Star Trek.

After the closing of the pandemic, films and television shows waited to continue filming, and the Lifetime network described its holiday film offerings as “various stages of production.”

For more details about Lifetime Christmas movie offers, visit Weekly entertainment.

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The Alton Spouse Shares a Look in Service and Business in Italy During the Coronavirus Crisis | Instant News

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