The Ruru's

T.I.M.E. Habits • Minimalists • Travel Enthusiasts

Category: Day Walk (page 1 of 3)

9/8/19 Nothing in the world feels particularly necessary when you sit in awe. Or thaw …

To the backbone of the Southern Alps we head.
Towards Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

Turn right after the Mount Cook airport and the meandering road for about 6 kilometres, takes you to the Tasman Lake within the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park (South Island, New Zealand).

Tasman Glacier … sadly receding.

This proglacial lake is formed by the retreating Tasman Glacier.

Looking down upon the reflective water was just superb. To view the floating bergs from the waters edge, where the clear ice tombed rocks pending melting, just beautiful.

As parts of bergs broke away, they were sucked towards the outlet, to enter a current that would ramble them towards the Pacific Ocean.

This is the true Alps to Ocean beginning and, submerge any part of exposed skin into the liquid, numbness is instantaneous.

The way we see an image depends upon the lens we view the subject through … and nothing in the world feels particularly necessary when you sit in awe.

Or thaw.

Certainly worth the journey.

17/11/18 Happy Birthday Sonny, From Reefton

Today would have been my Dad’s birthday.

Sonny Ruru

He would have turned 89 years of age except, he passed away during 2017.

I come from a large whanau (family) having four sisters, a brother and a half-brother. A functioning dysfunctional family whereby we have split to take sides with siblings whom are in tune with the values and characteristics we choose to live by.

It is what it is and no amount of time will bridge the water that has gone beneath it.

Sonny sadly, fueled the sparring and separation during his time above the ground. Which was a shame. And a pity. A pity that he didn’t rise up to the brainwashing he received from a sibling who wedged the gap between the clan.

With that, I was grateful to have shared some moments with him that have risen above the angst, hurt and pain we endured in the days, months and year after he closed his eyes for the last time.

Taking him on the back of a tandem to cycle from the east coast of the South Island (Sumner) to the west coast (Kumara) during his seventies, and just hear his positive reflection and see his ear to ear grin – that’s what I carry with me.

We have also carried a game of cards called ‘Five-Crowns’ (that both he and step-Mum Margaret introduced us to during that bike trip), with us, as we have ventured out onto the planet. Many a card game has been enjoyed with strangers to forge bonds of friendship that have been ever lasting. Our new tribe or, whanau (family).

And another dealing of the cards in Reefton too, where we have escaped to explore a location Sonny once resided in when he was younger, working in the coal mines. Before he met my Mum.

A peaceful meander on a couple of trails to reflect and remember Sonny on what would have been his birthday.

And old coal mine shaft entrance.
Energetic Mine Shaft – 1871 to 1927
Energetic Mine Shaft has laid dormant after it’s collapse in 1927

Still a candle burns for my old man.

You have made me a better father for you having been mine.

Switch It Up Just A Few More Steps

Switching out and switching up during today’s micro-adventure made for a far greater reward in a better food nourishment choice and, a more spectacular view.

The destination was the same – feel goooooooood.

Isn’t that was life is about?

Find A Purpose To Get Out There

Find a purpose to get out there on a micro-adventure and then give it meaning by doing.

The reward might be a sausage roll which adds substance to what you end up doing.

Once swallowed of course.  After chewing.  Which is before purchasing.  Because you ventured.

I’ll stop now.

Mueller Hut, Aoraki/Mt Cook: Ko Aoraki te Māunga

Enrichment is to experience fellow beings do something they signed up for without researching first, what they signed up for.

And so was the case with our mates, Tin and Lisa and, Andy and Mandy.

“Would you guys be interested in walking into a hut?”

“Yep, sure”.

And so I booked Mueller Hut.  Not so much in as it was up.

Then the abuse started. Or more the research conducted and the many questions with self doubt asked once they ascertained that Mueller Hut was a steep climb up – 1,800 metres or so.  Being a funeral celebrant had nothing to do with it.  Not at all.

But they accepted.  And made time to train, whether up Rapaki Track or the pipeline of The Bridle Path.  And persevered.

Then the day arrived and unfortunately, due to predicted 150km winds expected the day we were to descend, DOC advised not to stay overnight but to still hump it up to the Sealy Tarn and if you can get up to the Ridge, bonus.

And so they did. Up steep zig zagging steps that had a number of others traversing the altitude, voice about the challenge.

Reaching the Sealy Tarn to peer out and up the Hooker Valley, Aoraki/Mount Cook graced the horizon with share mana, it was priceless.  Ko Aoraki te Māunga.  Translated, it means Aoraki/Mt Cook is my mountain.  An important part of my mihi,

It was gut busting and crunched bone on gristle or strained muscle off tendons.  But they did it – Tin and Lisa and, Mandy and Andy.

1,797 man-made steps they ascended.  How can one not be proud of ya mates.  How can one not be enriched, by them.

Then onward and more so upward we trekked.  Mandy’s dodgy knee won out on the next part and had M & A make the call to decide to re-trace the steps back down.  The rest of us continued on.

Orange markers and tussock abated to become rock and scree, sometimes we had to lean into the mountainside to keep the balance.

And when we reached the ridge line, the force of the wind in it’s infancy gave hair a buff up as if one had stuck a finger straight into an electrical socket.  Fellow trekkers were descending and their advice was to push on for a further 20 minutes.  The Mueller Hut was that close.

As we sat looking out the windows of the Mueller Hut to Mount Ollivier, there was a sense of achievement at taking on the elements and pushing the body boundaries to view the peak Sir Edmund Hillary first climbed to begin his life’s passion for summiting peaks of the globe.  His legacy was now our reality.  The 360 degree view was absolutely stunning.  Avalanche’s across the valley were regular, as snow cascaded down cliff faces.  The wind whistled between the hut piles cemented strongly into the rock foundations below.  It reminded us to get out and down before mother nature would allow otherwise.

And so we did, meeting up the Mandy and Andy at the Hermitage Mount Cook for a celebratory ale.  Before returning back to Twizel to our hosts the night before, Mike and Anne.  The meal prepared and dished up was amazing.  Only after retiring to the mattress did the body remind us that we had pushed the thing to the limits.

It was worth it.

Enrichment is to experience fellow beings do something they signed up for without researching first, what they signed up for.

Just waiting for the team to come back to me on the next adventure proposed.  They are currently doing their research … hahahahaha, ahem!

Purau Bay, Lyttelton Harbour

Instead of tandem biking around the water, why not end up in it?

And so we did.

Was much cooler, that’s for sure!  Especially as the mercury crept up to the 30 degrees celcius.

With our mates Randall and Maree, we wound up at Purau for an impromptu picnic, sunning, swim and paddle.

Found a boat named ‘Ruru’. Could do with a little tender loving care.

More significantly, moored in the bay was the yacht ‘Chieftain’ that I helped sail around the South Island with a couple of old fella’s Wayne and Max.  I wonder if my message in the bottle has washed up somewhere yet?!

A day where best intentions got reversed and then revised that was certainly more refreshing.

Ya gotta love this country.

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.

22/10/17 Chew it all before swallowing

You will find it at the Lyttelton market on a Saturday morning.

It’s worth the walk up and over the Bridle Path … to find the stall, hand over the small change, open the twist top, hold a piece, and then bite into it.

Chew it all before swallowing.

Be interested in what you think.

The walk, the view, the taste.

Chocolate bacon and all!

27/8/17 Soaking in the Tub with the Willies

There is something to be cherished when one soaks in a hot tub of mineral water, sharing the warmth with mates.  Bubble farts rippling the surface top from the crack below don’t stink as the odd whiff of sulphur reminds you that you are in a geothermal longitude and latitude – Hanmer Springs.

The water tide mark was up with all the hordes of other patrons.  Tall people, short people, thin people, fat.  Kids and olds and different nationalities at that.  Bathing costumes to perv at, some not so good, faces with make-up and some that should wear a hood.  Tattoos were many and piercings through bits, whether male or female from ears to one’s nipples.

It had been a while since we were last there.  New shops have been erected and you couldn’t help wondering if the community were trying too hard to be a micro-tourist mecca the likes of Queenstown or Wanaka.

Beyond the commercial and residential suburbia, the adventure playground traditions still wait patiently for those whom put on either lycra, sweat pants or boots to mountain bike, walk or run or hike.

It was a two-hour round hump up Jacks Pass around then blat of the back country to then free wheel down Jollies Pass and back.  The old Connical Hill ascent favourite was not to be missed.  It gives one a brilliant 360° panoramic view of valley, mountain range and Waiau River.  The white of snow breaks the mountain brown from the sky blue.

It’s worth the 90-minute drive north of Christchurch if traveling to our neck of the woods.  So too the hot pools.

Sharing the time spent soaking in the tub with mates Andrew and Cherone Wilson made for some belly to belly catch up time.  Togs on beneath the water naturally.

Only because there were kids around!

6/8/17 The Rakaia Gorge Walking Track – Abandoned

As we departed west toward the Southern Alps, the weather was a balmy sunny morning.  Not a candyfloss cloud in the sky.

However, isobars on the Aussie side of the Alps were completely opposite with heavy rain.  Not the candyfloss type of clouds neither.

The Rakaia Gorge Track was in no man’s land.  As we started the 10 odd kilometre walk, sunshine.  Just 3 kilometres inland, driving rain has us cowering under vegetation canopy.  The wind picked up too giving caution to it being hypothermic possibilities.

It made for the track to become rivers of mud.  Bets were made as to who would ‘arse up’ first.  Staying on the track was paramount as a slide down into the Rakaia River would have been a drenching for sure.  Fortunately, no one did.

The decision to retrace our imprints and abandon the adventure was unanimous.

Once down on the grey whacky shingle bed looking back toward the bridges that connected the Inland Scenic Route, we were back in the rays and it didn’t take long to dry out.

Munching down our sammies overlooking the Rakaia River from the camp ground made pleasant.

Bell birds sang.  Rabbits hopped.  Jet boats jetted.  The girls gaggled.

In-between the munching of course!

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