It's still pretty grand country.
Fortunately, this time, we have a whole lot more of it ahead of us, and, unlike the last day on the Heaphy, we don't have the looming sense of loss, of something special soon to be ended.
We're a lot fitter now than we were a week ago, and more sure-footed as well, but we still appreciate our sticks every time we cross one of these. I'm not so sure, though about the brand. We have FIZAN poles, which we bought at the Kathmandu Christmas sale. Miranda's were around the $100 each, normal retail, with a built in shock absorber to lessen shock to elbows and wrists.
Mine were about half that, mainly because the velcro straps on the expensive ones weren't big enough for my hands and wrists, so I went for longer webbing straps, without shock absorbers, which were ideal, except that one of the poles kept jamming and then refusing to tighten once I had loosened it. I had several times to stop and spend ten minutes or so getting it to operate properly, and in the end I just ceased to adjust them.
I didn't much like the shock absorbers in Miranda's poles, and others I spoke to on the track, with (even more expensive) LEKI poles, had turned this feature off. The FIZAN shock absorbers are a permanent feature. The word is, poles are great - I'd go so far as to say essential for any older tramper - but I'd ask around a bit before I bought anything. They are expensive, and I'd make sure I bought something that had performed reliably for others.
We climb again
Hallo, what are you doing up there?
We're back into the bush again. Somewhere along here is one more swing bridge.
For all the superficial sameness of the beech forest, it is a treasure house of small jewels. I have had my peripheral vision trained for years to report any small change in the texture or colour of the edge of the track. I'd hate to be without it.
On the other hand, it might increase my walking speed considerably.
"Hello, where have you been? I've been waiting for you for ages."
Whenever we begin climbing, I get excited. The bridge can't be far off now. But down we come again and out onto the flats for a spell.
Or there is another boulder creek to cross
And no, that's not the kind of sexy undies Daniel Carter uses to play footy in. It's a knee support.
That leg hasn't been the same since I dropped something on the back of my ankle about a year ago. Nothing nasty, just a niggling reminder that it isn't quite right. My friend, Felicity, a GP, is an enthusiastic tramper and is right into preventive medicine. Most of her tramping pics show her as a vision in elastic and velcro, and I tend to think it's not a bad idea. My knee gets plenty of unsupported work, so that's not an issue.
But I digress. Another mouthful of water....
And just when I'm starting to moan again, it changes. Very good tramping lesson, as is its converse.
Wow. that must have been a beauty!
and we change again
We don't get a close look at this bird. It's browner than I recall a kea as being, and smaller, and the beak is smaller than I recall. But definitely some kind of parrot.
More fun with peripheral vision. I'll identify it later.
Miranda reaches the other side and then just about collapses with unsympathetic laughter as I am obliged to crawl backwards on my hands and knees to get onto the bridge.