Travel.P #46 – Kaikoura *.*

“When dealing with critics always remember this: Critics judge things based on what is outside of their content of understanding.”

Shannon L. Alder

Waking up the next morning in our van Chui, we packed our things for a two day hike and put on our shoes and started walking. It was not easy to find the route but since we had to walk up a valley with a river we knew at least the direction we had to take. I have to say that under worst conditions, like strong rain, this route would have been easily life threatening, due to shallow passages where the river was running through and would have washed everyone away.

In the valley, protected by the sun in thick bushland.

First we walked along a river bed that was wide and in the shade of the mountains, the wind was cold, blowing through the valley up onto the wide ocean. You could see the destructive power of the river a few days before. The route has been closed and whole parking areas were washed away. The day weather prognoses was good for the next two days, so we left started our hike with a feeling of safety. After we crossed the first corner the sun was beginning to laugh at us over the steep valley. We continued to climb the river further and further until we went into a soft small bush land, the ground was very soft and the river a few meters next to us hidden behind bushes, where we could hear it running down the stony riverbed of the shallow valley. We continued walking through the bushes for a while, protected by at that time strong sun. Sometimes we heard deer shouting close to us. After a few hours we approached the first hut, it was lovely placed after a river crossing in between threes and bushes, elevated to the river. We had a little break there for lunch taking in the vibes and recovering our legs. It was a lovely little hut with a fire place, definitely worth staying as well for a night. After reading through the guestbook we continued walking up the river. The sun was still strong and we took a short bath in the icy pools before ascending the climb towards the saddle.

getting annoyed at things
little shot at the saddle

The climb was all along and around the riverbed, huge boulders and rocks with thick bushes around. A few times we got lost, route-finding was very challenging on a few parts of that hike. The closer we came to the saddle the smaller became the gorge. Half way through the climb we actually met another hiker, coming from the other side of the saddle. After a short talk we continued climbing up, slippery wet rocks. After around an hour the now tiny gorge went left up a mountain while we continued straight towards the saddle.

A steep, thick bushy bit that was taking a lot of energy of me. But after a few breaks we made it to the top of the saddle with a great view over the two valleys, one on each side. The other valley looked more forestry and bushy than the one we went through. You could see the naked mountain tops, green forests and rivers being exposed here and there through the thick green. The sun was still hitting us, but not as bad as it was at noon. It spent enough energy to give us a nice warm feeling. After a short break and a snack we continued to climb up the most devastating bit I climbed so far, on the same level with mount doom I would say. It was so steep and gravel like that every 5 steps I took, I slip one step back. Sometimes, 3, 4 steps after each other. I was raging. With the heavy backpack and the exhausting climb before now a climb that never seemed to end. Especially because Lorna seemed to be climbing alright, shouting me tips to not slip. I have to confess, I absolutely hated it. It was so damn annoying but after an seemingly never ending climb, and a a moment of hope were I thought alright we made it, another bit of the same conditions just above a hidden bit of the mountain. Mountains always do that. You think oh it must be just up there, the end, the finish, the top and when you are very close to the bit, you realize there is another huge bit coming, and with experience you already know there will be probably another 5 or 6 of those situations, depending on the mountain size probably nearly endless amounts of those situations, but mostly its quite funny and challenging how the mountain tricks you, but not when the conditions of the climb are that annoying that you loose your temper and shout and wear at it.

Simple but so good
Walking ridges is always mystical.
View from the Hut.

But even the second bit ended at some point, one and a half hour fighting the mountain and we arrived at better conditions. For the same bit and good conditions it would have taken us probably half an hour. From there relieved and exhausted I calmed down and enjoyed the following walk along ridges of the mountains, it went a bit down and a bit up but not that crazy anymore. The view was absolutely amazing. You could see mountains in the far distance covered in snow, the ocean and Kaikoura. I loved it and it was worth every inch of annoying climb. One of the greatest views I ever had, I have to add that I really like Kaikoura, so maybe that influences my opinion a bit. After a short and welcoming break at the top, completely naked, we took a few moments to appreciate the atmosphere.

Made it!

From there we descended for like one hour until we reached the hut. With us was another girl in the hut. It was getting very cold and she already lit the little fire when we approached. It was a wonderful view. An a very winy night. Happy that we found shelter, we had a lovely dinner with our stove and went into our sleeping bags and passed out on the bunk beds.

Lorna cuddled up in her sleeping bag.

The next morning all we had to do is descent. It was a steep descent and we were happy that we choose to walk the other way round. It took us quite a while and our upper legs were getting challenged a lot. But at some point we ended up were we started, washed us in the river and left towards Blenheim along Highway one. The bit that wasn’t accessible in the beginning of my New Zealand travels, due too the destruction through the earthquake. From there we we drove through the vineyards of Blenheim, Ate some mussels in between Nelson and Blenheim and had a short look at the campsite were Lorna and I met a year ago. From there we met up with Georgia and jack on a lovely campsite. But more about that the next time. About Abeltasman, a great pizza place and lovely hikes with great views over the cook straight. A little sheltered camp-spot at the beach and nice hang out and recovery at a little river from where we went back to Jack and Georgia.

Here I am again, sitting in England, writing my blog before I will go to work. I just had lunch/breakfast. We got great things from the bins here. On Tuesday we had 30 avocados that are still perfectly fine. Lorna is sorting through her Photos while I am writing and working on my playlists and the web page. I also try to read a book a week, but the current one about sleep is taking its time, its bigger than I expected. We are working on strengthening our feet so we might run and hike barefoot once the summer is coming.

It still raining tons here, sometimes snowing, so we usually sit inside and do stuff. Sometimes we go to the spar, for free through connections. Work is great, I learn a lot but our head-chef is a bit of a person that isn’t able to give proper constructive feedback which sadly takes a lot of fun as well as atmosphere. Yesterday we have been out for a walk, it was sunny, than snowy, than hailing, than sunny, hailing and finally raining. It was great to get out tho. I managed to walk a lot of it barefoot through the hilly mountains, I’d like to not wear any shoes at some point in the future, it is very healthy for you. My diet is doing great, but sometimes I get weak, especially at work where there is food that might get binned. Slowly we are getting in our new sleeping rhythms, we try to sleep a lot, and nap in the midday before work. Massafari changed its print supplier now because the old ones service was catastrophic. Quite excited for it. I also like to work on a few new designs. Gonna be awesome. Well, well that’s it for today, currently listening to Malecon Azul – Extended Mix which is letting me write free and undisturbed.

View over Kaikoura.

Maybe try to give people feedback on a nice way, without shouting and with depth. It does make a huge difference. Sleeping is also a huge thing you should not broom under the carpet. It is getting more attention now again, but it was ignored and people that slept less got hyped as if they are working harder, but they are actually working less efficient, so they spent more time, more money, and getting less sleep. Vicious circle that is.

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