Man set to complete all New Zealand’s Great Walks in jandals

A Dunedin man is getting close to completing a charity walk with a difference as he tackles all of New Zealand’s Great Walks in jandals.

After two years, Gus Cope hoped to cross the finish line this weekend when he completes the Routeburn Track.

He said the idea was a joke that had gone too far.

“I got my shoes wet while on a tramp one day and walked in jandals for the rest of it and I said ‘oh I could do all the Great Walks in jandals’ not even knowing any of the Great Walks at the time,” he told Checkpoint.

It escalated from there, he said.

Cope said he had become used to walking in jandals but walking in mud was difficult.

“The hardest part is dealing with mud, cause they get suctioned in the mud.”

At Rakiura, he got bogged in the mud a lot.

“Definitely up past my ankle in mud and you’d step into it and go to take a next step but you’re bare foot all of a sudden and your jandal’s stuck in the mud and you’ve got to dig it out a little bit.”

Cope was aiming to do the entire thing in just one pair of jandals and he said they had thrived.

“They’ve still got some tread left on the bottom and I’ve only had one blow-out so far.”

He said the jandal’s plug just came out when he was walking in the mud, but he popped it back in and they had been fine since.

Lake Waikaremoana was probably the hardest walk, but they had made it difficult for themselves, he said.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of time when we were visiting the North Island and we just had a free day so we thought ‘Oh we’ll do it all in one day’ and that was a 13 hour day of walking in jandals.”

People were initially shocked when they saw he was hiking in jandals, but once he explained it they seemed to enjoy it, he said.

“And go like ‘oh good on you’ and ‘nice work’ and they’re all pretty stoked about it to be honest.”

Last year the walk raised money for Edmund Rice Camps in Dunedin which provide a break for children who need a holiday from their family due to financial or social circumstances.

Cope said his aunt gave him a pedicure kit last year.

“And that was not the best present cause all of the calluses that I’d built up on my feet just disappeared and I had to rebuild them again.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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