16 January 2006

Adventures on the south island..

Kia ora te whanau, I'm still not convinced about this blogging lark.. now I've been having lots of adventures I've not really had the time or access to talk about it! ...a big sorry I'm being so rubbish at communicating, I had no credit on my phone for 3 weeks (& no shops!) I'm not getting much on-line access and I've a lot of campaigning/acitvisty work & logistics type stuff on which I have to see too before I can reply to whanau.

But heres a bit of a ramble about the last month.. hopefully some of the pics will speak for them selves, theres two now albums on flickr.. 'bush' and 'tramp' (kiwi term for a several day walking mission) theres links to individually mentioned pics.. or the whole albums.

Bush & Tramp

So it started with a plan.. We drew a map of the top of the south island on the whiteboard with the dates and location of everyone we would like to meet and everywhere we'd like to go and 'there be dragons' and things like that.. of course the adventure didn't quite end up as we planned..

Em, Nomis & I (friends from wellington) started off from wellington on my favorite ferry ride in the world to the south island.. getting in very late so being the brigands of the high seas we are, we bedded down in the brig of a pirate ship for the night. Which was under a big wooden ship-shaped climbing frame in the park in Picton..

We then hitched to Pelorus Bridge, an amazing (if over touristy) part of a clear cool river with impossibility vast deep pools.

Being the budget mission we were (and hating camp sites) we found a magic spot hidden in the bush under Ponga tree ferns, Beech and larger canopy trees where we wouldn't get spotted by anyone after camp fees.

We met up with an cool American EF! activist/botanist and all spend a few days here swimming, eating, swimming, walking, swimming, sleeping out under the stars, comparing cultures and activist scenes & slang around the world and learning heaps about the plants from Em our native plant expert.

I bashed my knee swimming, and I didn't think much of it at the time.. ouch maybe, and ohh its bleeding a tiny bit.. and got on the to task in hand for the next two days of swimming, walking, lazing about in the bush, exploring waterfalls and more swimming in the deep, deep clear pools..

Two days on and I'd already been for my pre-breakfast swim and suddenly my knee was like a balloon and weird squeeky feeling when I moved it, so it was quickly into R.I.C.E. action (Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation) to fix it so we could go tramping. No an easy thing when you are living in the bush and hitching..although I'm sure hitching with a stick, bandages knee and ice-pack gets more rides!

So.. on the road again and as out last civilization stop of a week we got in supplies, had some rather dysfunction multi hitching communications problems, camped up hiding down a river.. But it all ended well and we all eventually got to a place caled Marahau for the new year which is the stunning start of the Able Tasmen national park with many stunning beaches and surrounded 360 by hills. Check out the pics here and the next few pics.

Have leeks, will travel : 'pack'

We finally get ourselves together on new years day we then hitch over the mountains to get to the start of out tramp into the wilderness.. the last ride, who was quite randomly was someone my friends know from wellington, who was looking for somewhere to park her van for the night, so we persuade her to come with us to a little free camping spot a little ways down the valley Em knew where we want to start our tramp from.

As we pull into the lay-by there a strange sign and ballons attached to a post 'disgraceland - phy-trance retirement village'.. “oh there seems to be hippies here..” “is that a teepee?” “is that Sarah?” and ended up at an party in the woods with 2 sound systems and random friends from all over.. luckily there was also a drum & bass sound system! All very surreal and very New Zealand!

So realising the road end was 38ks down the valley, and in the rain no traffic (opps!), we persuade a random friend of a friend at the party called 'hobbit' to drive us 30ks down the valley and up over the hydro station (the track started down in the mist by the reservoir at the end of this valley). So after a last swim in the heat them came winding along and unsealed road through the bush with 6 hippies, 2 crosses and a Jack Russel!

We set of up into the mountain in the wind and the rain.. there are no pictures of the next part of our journey as the weather was so wild.. we climbed for a couple of hours then passed Lake Peel, which was more in the air than in the lake, then across the ridge where we all got blown over several times.. the gusts would come and I'd anchor myself with my feet and the walking poles and big pack against the wind and it was still impossible to keep standing. Then the biting hail started....Never been so glad to reach a mountain hut!

The weather stayed largely pants so we didn't walk far, just a couple of hours a day one night sleeping in a very pre-historic rock bivi at 1000m, with a not very warm fire. Very Cool. It looked very much like the one used in the Fellowship of the ring for Wethertop.

After a cold, cold night was woken to what looked like someone taking a photo then the world went BOOM!!! and we were in the middle of a huge thunder cloud. I've never heard thunder roll around for so long and so loud. BOOOOOOOOOOOOM, ROOOOOOOOM, UUUOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMM UUUUUUUHHHHHHH UUUUMMMMMMM.

The weather finally cleared and we tried for an accent of MtArthur.. but the weather came in and we were up on the ridge
in driving horizontal snow!

We got sooooo wet.

At the road on the other side of the range we got cell signal and I texted a friend who lives in the area(ish!) to see if we could stay we started walking down the valley and an hour or so into walking down the road to civilisation and she came an picked us up and took us to a land of sunshine, beds, fruit trees and showers! Ahhhhh.

I'm now in Cristchurch a new land of meetings, organising, saunas, banner making , t-shirt printing and surfing.

Yes surfing! before you get to excited with the image of me in a tight wet suit long hair straggly with salt around my shoulders and surfboard under my arm (although the were was probably a few moments like that) . I have to tell you the first time I went out in the wet suit i managed to put it on both inside out and backwards.. as as for actually catching waves.. hmmm well thats another story.

Well theres loads more tales to tell.. thats just a taste of the last month... please keep mailing me your news – even if I'm poo at responding, I appreciate it heaps.

arohanui xx


Eabha the Kiwi said...

Wow! Great photos, keep us posted!!!

JD, Emily and Eabha

Rebecca said...

What about the close-ups of the volcano, eh? Eh?
If you wanted to make us jealous, you're succeeding - it all looks absolutely awesome. And a great campaign against the mine, too.
Meanwhile, sat here in a murky grey English winter 'like living inside Tupperware', as someone put it recntly, recovering from two months reading and writing about ID cards (only ask if you really want to be bored witless) I'm seriously reconsidering my flying taboo. Grrr. But you carry on having fun, don't mind us, (sob)...