Escape • Explore • Enjoy

While the bodies still can and we still have our marbles!

Month: December 2017

3/12/17 What’s Another Two Football Fields?

Taking the #4 route, the plan had been to trek up to Purple Peak Saddle, one of the many walks above Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula.

It was a scorcher and we had gone no more than 100 metres before the beads of sweat started to trickle. The bush was alive with the hum of flies, bees and bumbles in unison; and the song of the bell bird echoed.

The elevation was steep. This trail is not for your novice, nor un-fit. Emotions of different places we have trodden on the planet flooded back. It helped taking the mind off the ball of yellow pushing up the internal mercury.

The colour of purple veronica flowers were stunning; the yellow of gorse pin pricky; the green of broom similar to peas growing. When they seed, the hillside will be popping as they disperse their children!

A little hut to shelter from the sun was cute. It was welcoming. Reaching the saddle, we had reached our destination however, it was only another couple of hundred metres to the Stony Bay Peak / Taraterehu. We imagined what the view would be like from there.

What’s another two football fields? Certainly steeper and goat trail like … and standing at 806m in altitude … the view was just spectacular.

Taking the Tara Track, then Te Paripai shortcut to get back on the Purple Peak track down to sea level, made the ice block certainly worth it.

Ya gotta love this country.

17/11/17 West Coast Wilderness Trail – Impromptu Encounters … Priceless

To Greymouth we drove to participate in the West Coast Wilderness Trail mountain biking event.

Whether in a one day or over three or four days … take the journey.

You will be not be disatisfied with the road ridden … Ross to Hokitika to Cowboy Paradise to Kumara to Greymouth.

Or just the bits in-between.

The impromptu encounters – priceless.

And, certainly memorable …

 

… “Are you there?” was the question asked as we sat in the room of our B&B.

“Yes, come in”

It was the B&B operator’s daughter.

“Just wanted to know if you are any relation of a Sonny Ruru?”

“He was my Dad” the reply given.

“What a small world.  My Mum went out with him when Sonny used to live in Reefton.  Her name is Gladys and she would love to meet you”

And so we did.

Meet and greet and then had the most awesome conversation about my Dad when he lived in Reefton.  He worked in the mines and both him and Gladys were an item for the time he lived there.  The year, 1948 or there abouts.  Gladys was a Nurse Aid and she confirmed Dad’s story about the mining accident where Dad and one other made it out alive – Morris Skilton.  Another was unfortunate and was killed. Dad lived with a family by the name of the Lawrences during his time there; and when Dad returned to Christchurch, their relationship ended.

Shortly after our face to face, Gladys had found a black and white photo of her and Dad.

This was an impromptu encounter of the most amazing type. And ironically, it happened on the 17/11/17 (Friday) … which was Sonny’s birthday.

Leaving Greymouth, we back tracked to Ross (the start of my ride) to do touristy thing as the township had pioneer history worthy of a re-visit.  Calling into friends Tane, Rachel, Ruby, Ava and Tilly in-between for a nose rub and bounce on the tramp was fun.

Just as priceless as the impromptu encounter.

‘It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you’ – Rumi

11/11/17 Where Pakeha Met the Maori

-34.662334 latitude and 178.017654 longitude is re-known for it being the first place in New Zealand to see the dawn of the new sunrise – Gisborne.

It’s significance is for it being the place where Captain James Cook first stepped onto the New Zealand landscape and encounter the natives – where Pakeha met the Maori.

We were there for the weekend to attend a conference with Toastmasters New Zealand. The first time for BClaire.  A return for me as I once lived here for a year after a work promotion in my earlier career days.

It was great to reminisce as a guide for the other half; as much as rub shoulders with fellow speakers.

A number of iconic Kiwi’s originate from Gisborne also, from both sides of the first encounter.

Certainly a part of our cultural heritage to check out.