We cheated and left our desks before 5pm (4:20!) – we had a train and connecting ferry to make. The ferry dropped us off at our request stop as the last of the daylight beautifully set the scene for the start of our trip.
The start was a little odd. It felt a bit like we were walking through people’s front yards and then we were literally on a path between and sometimes underneath houses. Then, with “town” behind us we continued along the coastline. It was pretty dark but we ran without our lights on since it was an access road.
We spotted a set of stairs leading up. We didn’t think it was the track we were after so continued on. Perhaps we’d regret this decision?
After ‘the bend’ we couldn’t find our track, but with a check of the map we found the narrow track and a pink ribbon. It would have been easy to spot in daylight…
Up past some sandstone caves and then the adventure really started as we slogged it up the hill, second guessing paths and moving a lot of large spiders to the side so we could pass. Every now and then there was a ribbon to confirm other humans had been this way too. I was having fun!
We hit the crest of a spur and found a fire pit but it wasn’t clear where to go next. This was not at all what I’d been expecting the junction to look like. Thankfully the moon was bright and the direction we wanted to go, so we turned moon-wards and attempted to find a sensible path. B took over clearing the spiders.
This time we popped out on the ridgeline and had fantastic views from our rocky perch of the river below and plenty of stars were out by now. Happy Friday :D
But we’d overshot our turn (the view was worth it) and, with some technological help, found the next footpad to follow. These tracks were really not as well formed as we’d been anticipating but it was certainly adding to the adventure. Def no running happening though … clocking up 2km in 40mins!
There were now two routes to choose from and we took the lower route. Invariably ending up on the high route at some point and then back on the lower route once again. The bush is certainly a different adventure in the pitch black. We passed TV antennas and had absolutely stunning views down to the water. On queue a train took the rail bridge and it looked like a xmas train as the lights reflected perfectly in the water. What luck.
We chatted about an interview we both listened to of an upcoming book release: Woman in the Wilderness. It’s about a Dutch lady and her kiwi husband living a primitive life in the NZ wilderness. It was timely to discuss such a book as we were having our own wild bush experience.
At last we made it to the creek junction and set up camp on a sandy bank not too far away. Tent up and fire going it was finally time to tuck into dinner – we were starving! We had a really, really lovely evening around the fire and eventually had to stop ourselves from building it up again and head to bed. I didn’t bother setting an alarm, even though I had somewhere else to be the next day – sunrise is at 6am these days.
Hehe of course we slept through sunrise, ooops! It was a Saturday though. Determined to check out our surroundings we headed down the creek for lovely cascades, waterfalls and river views. It was one chilly but refreshing morning dip too. Magic.
A quick pack up back at camp and we set off for the train station at the early hour of 11:30am. I was hosting afternoon tea at my place at 3pm, oh dear! More footpad searching, but at least we had daylight on our side. About a kilometre or so of this and we were on open fire trail. Time to start running!
B made a detour out to a top for more good views while I carried on towards the train station and he’d catch me up. All I had to do was take the first right he said. I did just this, and could see in the distance the road in perfect line with the fire trail I was currently on. I had well over an hour to go 6km, easy!
Queue finding the end of the fire trail, standing on top of a decent sized waterfall and having no idea how to get down to the road I could see in the distance … hah! I searched all the footpads around, I clearly wasn’t the first person to try this. Eventually I found one that looked like it’d go and went back to try and leave a message for B. He was already trying out some of the footpads so a quick shout out and we were back together and now on another wild adventure.
The rock formations were cool. At some point the track became more defined and then vanished all together again. We were now fighting bushes and the spotting of some bright orange led us into a ship building yard and to the road. We now had 3.5km and 16 minutes to make the train … NO CHANCE.
But it did leave time to buy chips, drinks and ice cream before the following train, which got me back to my apartment at 2:59pm. Thankfully the first guests didn’t arrive until 3:07pm….
I love these micro-adventures !