Seems it's been 2 months since our last blog. Although the world keeps turning, I've not had a great deal to say on the matter (can you believe it). But for our own account if not anything else. It went a little something like this.......
Trail Notes - Taranaki
Sherren called it Mt Teryaki and now it's kind of stuck.
Had a few beers and wines with Mark and Helen last night. So once we started out from Egmont North visitor centre in the heat of the day, the boozy sweats kicked in. Cracking views of the peak and Ruapehu on the way up. We've actually struck it pretty lucky with the mountains and weather. (Might be commenting too soon)
Track is well maintained and it was an easy 3 hours to Holly Hut. A big and well equipped hut, with solar power and a brand new drop of fire wood and coal. Only issue was the worlds bluntest axe made cutting kindling a mission and ended up getting my trusted machete out to finish the job.
It's about 26 degrees outside so hoping the fire won't be needed but you never know when you're sitting at about 1000 meters above sea level at the base of a snow covered mountain.
It's 4 o'clock and I'm bored out of my skull now the chores are done. Got a 8-9 hour walk tomorrow over 13km. Slow going but should keep me occupied and out of mischief for a while longer.
This is a serviced hut so wondering if we'll get a ranger later. Monday's are normally their changeover days.
Just spotted 2-3 ferrets or stoats playing in the grass in front the hut. Light brown and they chirp at each other. Hundreds of traps out here but guessing they're not effective. Guess we won't be seeing any Kiwi with those nasties around.
Sherren, today was like 3 hours on a stairclimber with a view, then down to the hut, in the knowledge that tomorrow we will walk back up. It's a sunny evening and so far we are alone but for the flies which are being herded out of the hut. I'm remembering the river journey and it's easy leg work as my legs ache a little already.
The sun didn't rise until 5.30 we set off at 7 for Waiaua Gorge Hut, a 8h30 walk. Two rocky wide stream crossings later I had soaking feet, we arrived at the half way point Kahui Hut were there is a weather station and mobile signal, on checking the forecast tomorrow will bring 90% chance of rain all day and between 60 and 100kmh winds making it cold with much the same for the day after. As what we have left will take two days we decided to turn around as we'll be either crossing rivers or in exposed alpine areas. So we have walked for 8 hours to be back where we started this morning wet footed. Tomorrow we will do the 3h30 trip down to the visitor centre and the car.
Disappointed but better to be safe.
Still great weather today and good mountain views.
Dry feet for me today. I rock hop like a mountain goat.
Stony River was pretty low when we first crossed it. But coming back it had raised a few inches. The heat of the last two days is melting the snow up top. Wouldn't like to be around when it rains hard. 20mm up top and I reckon you wouldn't be able to pass.
Met a couple folks who think they're going to the summit tomorrow. I warned them about the 100km winds with a windchill of -10. I think they still think they're going. Good luck to them. Nice place to perish if you had to choose one.
Tired now. Our return trip today should have been 11 hours, we did it in 8 and even stopped for lunch.
Think we'll head back to Tauranga for Christmas next and take a week getting ready for our yoga workshop in Gisborne. Long range forecast is shit. Tired of it and feel like I'm wasting all my time and money with this 2 Year holiday. Feel like going back to work or else would happily jump on a plane back to India tomorrow and spend the next 2 years there.
Return of The Yogi
With Christmas done and dusted for another year, the sun finally decided to make an appearance. And with that we headed down to Gisborne and give ourselves a day to settle in before the workshop.
Cory and Sarah provided us with an awesome garden studio apartment in the plush suburb of Awapuni, Gisborne.
Paying the Rent
Having researched as much as possible about Peter, we knew very little of him. It's just the way all genuine yoga gurus tend to be. Off the grid or at the very least, almost.
From the moment we walked into his shala you could feel the awesome energy and heat, reminiscent of Mysore. Sometimes the heat almost being too much to bare and very reminiscent when you realise the girl practicing next to you in Gizzy is the same girl practicing next to you in India!
The group was fairly social and met a few times for pot luck lunches etc. But given our experience of yogi's in Mysore, we were a little wary to begin with. But in time came to know a few very genuine and kind friends.
With the waistline having yo yo'd a few times due to international season changes, excess calorie demands of the hikers diet and the Christmas, New Years experience. It was great to back in the midst of a shala practice. It's now got us back on the track we'd started straying from and helped in sweating out all those impurities we've been piling in.
At the end of the Gisborne summer workshop, we didn't really feel the vibe for hiking again. So we decided to head to Napier to study with Peter for another month. Hands down the finest teacher I've practiced with to date. Although Peter will tell you it's not a competition.
Firstly we headed up the East Cape for a couple of days to Te Araroa (not on the trail or even close) and camped. It's a pretty remote part of New Zealand with a very rustic way of living for the locals and with horses roaming in the middle of the road and homicidal truck drivers made an interesting drive.
The Art Deco capital of the world (self imposed title I reckon) owing to a complete rebuild after the town was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931. A cute little place about double the size of Gisborne, and they even have an organic whole foods cafe and market with reasonable prices and vegan options. Progressive New Zealand at it's finest.
We stayed at Toad Hall Backpackers on a weekly rate which was more attractive than living at a campsite which was our original plan. And overall the place was fine although, after our first Saturday we were seriously questioning our decision. Just picture a party going till dawn with a man 55 or so, off his head on booze and drugs, overweight with porn star moustache running up and down the corridor screaming the lyrics to a Metallica song. While a couple in the room next door were having porn star horizontal hula hula complete with slapping and screaming. To make matters worse it was the male that did most the screaming. Living the midlife dream I guess!
After that things chilled out and life was fairly normal and bland again. At least till it was time to move on just as the Art Deco Weekend began and town filled up with people of every demographic wearing nylons, furs, waistcoats, hats and driving round in chitty chitty bang bang cars and steam engines. Escapism on a grand scale. Get me the hell out of here!
Now some of that summer heat is beginning to fade, we are camping on the western edge of the Tararua ranges. Had a great practice on the grass this morning but fear we have since frightened off all other campers with our off key chanting and sun worshipping ritual. Seriously, the place has emptied out. Followed by the sun.
The 'mish' today was to find a newly opened vegan cafe and market in Greytown (of all places - hypothesis is this could be owned and run by wealthy cattle farmers hell bent on covering all aspects of the market) while on our way to the next camp. Mission failed. It's a small 3 horse town. We drove through, parked and walked up and down without success. Facebook rumour false! Nothing but cattle farms around here. Wishful thinking methinks.
Our next camp involved driving south on the western shores of Lake Wairarapa until we hit the coast. Then follow a poorly graded loose metal road through a couple of streams, till the road ends. (Now a point to note at this stage is, the more remote and rugged we get the happier I get. However on Sherren, it has the opposite effect. One of them 'Mars and Venus things I reckon) And wallah! Shithole DOC camp Corner Creek.
None of the sites are level (literally not even flat space enough to yoga), water tank is dry and so is the nearest stream, they have rats and the toilets are pretty grim. In fact it's obvious DOC haven't serviced the place as the fee spout (place where you put your camp fees in) is overflowing with money. Really surprised no ones actually nicked it. It's a good thing we brought plenty of water. Plan was to stay 2 nights but think we'll upgrade in the morning.
It a shame really as the scenery is rugged and beautiful, and even though there is zero swell there's some decent waves coming in at the point and this place is only about 25km as the crow flies from Wellington city (100km by road)
Know Your Gear!
And that includes your car! Since we bought this car, we've been driving around with a light on that says 'OD Off'. So we assumed the overdrive function was off. But we've been a bit thirsty on gas and a bit chunky in the transmission. So we decided to have a play, only to discover, Japanese logic dictates. "If the Off button is On, that means the function is On".
Now we're getting an extra 200km a tank and the gears are smooth as. Next we gotta figure out the 4wd function. Wasn't needed when fording those streams.
Wellington. The capital city, we didn't see any of it on the way to the ferry but will stop on the way back. Petrol here is 20% more expensive than the rest of the North Island. Last stop to get ripped off before the South Island!
Yoga got rained off yesterday. Had an awesome spot on the grass at our campsite. Shame about the weather. I made it to Janu B and Sherren to Mary A.
Today's effort was on the Interislander Ferry to Picton. We found a little spot out the way of the crowds. Felt a little strange with the constant rocking and moving of the centre of gravity but managed to keep it together in Utthita Hasta and Headstand. Probably not the strangest location to practice as we are yet to give it a go in an aeroplane but it does turn some heads.
Gripe of the North before we leave is:
Apparently 2/3's of New Zealand's waterways are not fit for swimming and even more not for drinking. Not so clean and green after all. Toxins are mostly made up of nitrates and effluent from the farming industry.