Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday 23 August 2014. Brando Wildboy Yelavich Becomes The First Person To Walk The Entire New Zealand Coastline...

I'm back! he called with a huge grin on his face a few meters from the end and the crowd of family, friends and supporters cheered him on.
He'd left there exactly six hundred days earlier.
Brando had climbed his Everest and strode into the history books and the country's folklore becoming, on Saturday August 23 at 3.45pm,
the first person to ever walk the entire coastline of New Zealand.
He had walked the talk.
He had dreamed it and he had done it.
And as we watched, instead of coming up the hill, he raced down the steep sandy slope, took off his pack and clothes and ran into the embrace of The Tasman Sea that had looked after him and fed him on his way south all those days ago. Then, to our cheering, he made his way up the final slope towards us.
My young friend had invited me to spend his last night before the final few kilometers with him at Tapotupotu Bay, just to the east of Cape Reinga. There was no way The Flying Tortoise wasn't going to be there.
A film crew were there too, making a doco about Wildboy for the New Zealand ADHD Association on how he'd quieted his demons and resolved the issues surrounding ADHD and his Dyslexia. They pall into insignificance now.
Throughout his journey his words and deeds inspired many thousands of young and not so young children with similar issues.
And those without any.
I arrived at Cape Reinga at the northern tip of Aotearoa New Zealand, The Land Of The Long White Cloud. My country. And couldn't stop the tears from flowing.
I knew it was a spiritual place but I wasn't ready for the strength of emotions and the profound affect actually being there would evoke in me.
If I didn't know better I would swear I had Maori ancestry. And I would be proud to.
The Cape is a place where The Tasman Sea
and The Pacific Ocean meet, their respective currents doing battle and causing much turmoil for seafarers.
Many were the reasons for tears of joy to flow on Saturday and flow they did. It was an emotional homecoming for the boy who left there all those days and experiences ago. While the crowd of well wishers watched, they realised the wayward boy had become a wonderful, confident, personable and articulate young man.
His parents Todd and Donella, his sister Brooke, his Grandparents, his Uncles and Aunts his girlfriend Ngaio, all of us there and those who couldn't be, have cause to be immensely
proud of Brando.
There were people there, and many too who weren't, who've been proud to met Brando on his walk and think about him as being the son they'd have liked to have had, but never did.
I am one of them...


  1. A great end to an inspiring journey. I wonder what his next adventure will be?

  2. Great post Keith on a great occasion..... I'd love to have been there to greet him too because - what an achievement!

  3. There's nothing better than a happy ending to set goals and ideals. Bravo young Brando!

  4. I believe this wonderful and fantastic story will touch the Heart or everyone who reads it here on your blog, Keith. And we all can spread it to encourage other young boys and girls suffering from ADHD, Dyslexia, the lack of self-confidence and other problems.
    It's not easy to leave some wise words here. But if Brando now and then had the same feelings as "The ugly duckling" in the fairy tale of H. C. Andersen, I hope he looks at himself as the swan now.

  5. Thank you for sharing the excitement of this grand occasion Keith.. I was watching on '' but it was not as exciting as reading this.. Love the photos..And I wait with interest to see where Brando's journey takes him next.

  6. Well done Brando... For completing the journey.

  7. I am so glad you were there Keith. Thank you for telling me about Brando when I met you at Clifton Beach in the Hawkes Bay in January, ever since I have been following Brando. Tears sprung to my eyes as soon as he came into view of his family and fans. The 8000kms and 600 days and solo! Pip

  8. Te mihi mahana, te mihi aroha ki te rangatira Brando mo tou haerenga awesome life experience touched by a confirmation and blessings from those loving tupuna kaitiaki (ancestral guardians) who watch over Te Reinga and were there with all those supporters to welcome you - Ka Rawe!!

  9. Keith you too have done us proud with you capturing Brandos adventure with so many beautifully flowing words and Photo's leading Brando to his finishing spot at the Cape, thank you for your kindness and caring.