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Daily photo

10 Sep

In an effort to get back into writing on this blog (after a hiatus of about 8 months or something) I’m going to try taking a photo every day, and writing a (most probably quite short) blog post about it.

Image

This is taken on my walk home from work, at the top of the hill, on what is an incredibly windy day (although you can’t tell that from the photo).  I like the pretty pink glimpse of sunset through the gap, and the climber growing on the wall.

Thanks for looking, stay tuned for further photos this week!

Lake Waikaremoana

10 Jan

Over new years me and my fiance went on a four and a bit day tramp around Lake Waikaremoana.  The tramp has huts at intervals, which you book to stay in, or there are also camp grounds.  We chose to stay in the huts, as camping involves carrying extra gear, and we really didn’t need that, given our relatively average state of fitness.  The lake is in the Te Uruwera National Park, which is a large tract of untouched native forest on the eastern side of the North Island.  The forest is hundreds of years old, and incredibly beautiful.

On the first day, we drove to the lake, and got a water taxi to the starting point.  The first day was the hardest – it was essentially five and a half hours of climbing up to the Panekiri Bluff, which sits about 1150 metres above sea level (although only about 600 metres above lake level).  It was a hard slog, but taking it slow, with lots of breaks for chocolate, ensured we made it in one piece.  It was worth it for the views (which we were lucky to get – the micro-climate around Lake Waikaremoana, and the fact that it gets about 6 metres of rain a year mean that the Bluff is often shrouded in cloud).

 

By the time we got to the top the clouds had rolled in, so no view from the highest point unfortunately.

The hut at the top was pretty basic, and totally packed.  We were so exhausted from all the walking the we were asleep by 8pm, after a dinner of reconstituted dehydrated food (which by the way, despite sounding quite weird, is actually really good, especially the moroccan lamb.  Don’t get the spag bol though, it is average).

The next day was all downhill, which was a very nice rest after our whole day of uphill walking.  It was also shorter, more like 4 1/2 hours.  The trees up on the bluff were so beautiful, all ancient and mossy.

 

The second hut was on the lake front, and we had a lovely swim at the end of our walking.  Annoyingly that night we had to share our hut with a tour group, who paid about $1800 to do the tramp, have their bags shipped from hut to hut, and be cooked amazing dinners.  So while we ate another dehydrated meal, they had hangi with beer and wine (served in actual wine glasses).  We might have been a little bitter about it.  Although we did manage to get a beer, some pavlova and tomato on toast from their leftovers.

The third day was our longest day of walking, mainly because we did a side walk to the Korokoro falls (which we did without our packs on, yay!).  To get to the falls we had to ford a river, and we both got our boots filled with water doing so.

 

The waterfall was worth it though.

 

The third day it rained the whole time.  I have never been so wet in my life.  I actually got raisiny fingers from how wet I was.

The third hut, however, was also probably the prettiest.  It was set in a little bay of the lake, and had just the best view.

 

That night was new years eve.  We played cards with some of the other people staying at the hut, then did a fake count down at 9pm  and went to sleep.  Earliest I’ve been to bed on new years in a long time.

 

The last day of walking was pretty nice, and relatively easy.  It also didn’t rain (thank god).  And we made it out. The walk is definitely one that I would recommend – the bush is just so peaceful.  We’re not very fit, and thought it would be really hard, but it was actually fine (although also hard).

We were so excited about not eating dehydrated food anymore that on the drive back to Napier we might have eaten not one, but two, pies.  Greedy.