The weather bombs over the past ten days have been unbelievable. It’s supposed to be our summer and it would be fair to script that this has been the best of the worst summer one can remember. The amount of rain has been phenomenal and has caused havoc up and down the country.
There was a forecasted break today although at 8am this morning, you would think we were in for another layover. At 9am, we decided to take the risk and with all our wet weather apparel on, we stepped out into the puddles to be rained on.
The track up to Colonial Knob was under cover from ferns and Nikau palms and there were a number of steps to ascend. It wasn’t long before the sweat beads rolled down the forehead so stopping to disrobe apparel made it more comfortable. To our astonishment, the rain had certainly abated and when we broke undergrowth cover, the clouds had dispersed somewhat providing us with spectacular views of Porirua City proper.
The 14 kms walked to Mt Kaukau was just a smorgasbord of 360° views. Bumps from the Tararua Ranges on the northern horizon; the Rimutaka Ranges more prominent being closer; Wellington City a haze of houses and skyscrapers; giant wind propellers adorned the southern horizon. Out to the west, the mighty landscape of the top of the South Island. We were below it now latitude wise; and finishing the directional clock, Kapiti Island stood motionless in a distance form of blue.
Sheep and cattle grazed the pastures; the man-made pine forest was aged as the trunks of the trees rose high into the sky. Ohariu Valley introduced more habitat with a huge equestrian community tending to the care and maintenance of the horse’s present. Every now and again we gave way to woman and beast sharing the tar seal being walked. They never get told off for fouling the roads! Mind you, the fresh stuff was probably a sweet smell better than our body odour after the haul trodden so far.
The ascent up to Mt Kaukau itself was gradual encountering day walkers. The telecommunications tower a beacon from all angles and it was out last altitude to be summited in the North Island. We could make out more distinctive features of the Capital City itself and although the legs were feeling the distance, the adrenalin of the end being in sight carried us some more.
Close to the Botanical Gardens, a call was made to a cousin seeking a resting place for the night. Our attempt to reach Te Papa Museum fell short by approx. 4kms; the bodies were ready to lay down in protest. Another 31 kms today. Tomorrow, we will finish for sure and bring home the closing of the North Island leg.
We sat eating our evening meal with family to experience the sun slide down behind the silhouette of the South Island. You felt like you could reach out and just touch it.
It won’t be long before we do.