One of my friends posted about this photo that it was a nice photo of a creature and a good looking fish, I had to laugh when I realised just how wild I looked but it was a good snapper at 54cm and caught whilst I was on the phone to my son James with the rod in the holder ,next minute, got to go there’s a fish on the line. Well and truly worth hanging up for.
Friday morning and feeling energetic I suggested to Sarah that we should continue my training to become a mountain goat and take a walk up the hill to the trig station behind the camp. it starts off with a stroll up the hill behind the campground and over to Admirals Bay where Camp Kiwi is located. from there it’s a walk through the bush getting ever and ever steeper. Above is a photo taken in Feb 2017 of me at my unfit-est and two months after Chemo finished so proud to have made it to the top after having almost given up a couple of times.
This time and with a little less weight and a lot more hair I made it up the steep part of the path much more easily than last time. As it was an overcast day with a gentle breeze we decided not to summit the trig station but continue onward with the track, you turn left about 10 metres from the summit and start a downhill that thanks to rain the night before made the path a little slippery but with plenty of trees to hang onto it was an easy walk down. Once at the bottom there is a walkway over the swamp that brings you to the cliff face overlooking the beach as shown above, it really is very pretty.
Of course for every walk downwards there is always the walk back up and whilst we knew there where some stairs to go up we had forgotten just how many. I never got to take a photo of the steps because by the time I thought about it I was just too exhausted to get the phone out of my pocket and take a photo. In total there are 494 steps and 485 of those are upward. Although I was counting the steps I also noticed that someone has also scratched the numbers into some of the steps and when their 300 matched mine I saved my breath and just relied on their numbers from then on.
Once you reach the top of the stairs and after a walk along the top of the ridge you reach the lookout. Regretfully the lookout is rather overtaken by trees and it would help to be about 10 feet tall to be able to take advantage of it. From there you reach an intersection when you can either take a 15 minute walk down to the camp or continue on with the track. About a one hour walk. Feeling good I made the foolish decision to continue.
I was sure last time we walked the track (maybe 10 years ago) that the continuation of the track was a fairly flat walk, that just shows how senile I am becoming in my older days. and the warning signs should have been there when after a short downhill another sharp uphill was encountered. It turned out to be a couple of very steep up and downhill sections before flattening out for a walk along another ridge with a great view of Bland Bay below. Absolutely exhausting!
From there the track takes a sharp downward trend and I managed to lose my footing and end up on my backside only once but it was certainly close a couple of times. On the descent we came through some fantastic punga ferns and the light through them was a sight to behold. Sadly along the path I almost stepped on a rather large rat, I don’t know who got the bigger surprise, but in the fight to maintain Kiwi numbers it’s an ongoing battle to eradicate them.
After just over two hours we reached the end of the track and the roadway back to the campsite I said to Sarah shall we take the cheats way (through Picnic Bay where it’s flat) and she said no lets finish the walk along the roadway. I can tell you the steep climb up the hill before the camp with my legs like jelly reminded me of how they felt after I had completed a half marathon 30 odd years ago, Exhausted!!!
After a suitable recovery time I teamed up with John Bartlett who had volunteered to help me smoke the snapper I caught yesterday and with his assistance and smoker we produced tonight’s dinner. It has been a real pleasure meeting John and his wife Gaylene who are here in their camper, shown behind in the photo, for a two week stint on their DOC pass.
It’s home tomorrow morning for the Breakers Basketball game 3pm Sunday at the Spark Arena for win number 9 in a row.