Today it’s Queen’s Birthday, which makes it a long weekend. Quite strange for me, this royal thing. There also is Crown land, and Crown authorities and lots more regal stuff.
We went tramping with a couple of Pete’s friends and did a loop in the Tararuas. That’s a low mountain range not very far from Wellington. Green steep hills, with tussocky tops usually hidden in clouds. Saturday was brilliant, sunny and the whole range entirely clear against a backdrop of deep blue sky.
It was a nice bush walk up to the hut. When we arrived, there were still a couple of hours of daylight left, so Pete and I went a bit further up to get a view of the ridges.
It was very windy up there. The least exposed way to enjoy the view was actually lying on the ground, which I did until my back got cold.
The hut was as full as expected. We spent the evening having a very nice three course dinner, with the third course being postponed to the morning because we were too full for dessert. Since there was nothing else to do, we retreated into our sleeping bags and were all sound asleep by 9pm.
On Sunday morning, clouds had moved in. We went over the tops as planned anyway.
It was a very windy, cold and drizzly walk, with a nice view of the mountains for about 10 seconds. The difference between being on the tops and in the bush was amazing. Once back in the bush, the wind was a light breeze only, and no drizzle anymore, which made the walk down quite pleasant. On the flat bit out I tried Nordic walking, and wow! I was surprised how fast I could walk that way.
So far I have spent most of today cleaning up my stuff and fighting the mold that has developed on the window frames. There’s a few people coming over for a roast here tonight. And maybe I’ll make a pot of Gluehwein later on and read my book.