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8-12 November 2007

From the Psychotic to the Sublime

The Lake Waikaremoana Track

Day 2, Page 1

OK. We're up here. How do I get down without a helicopter? Last night I had considerable trouble sleeping. Whenever I relaxed into my pre-sleep place I was jerked awake with an internal picture of sliding down the rockface. If I let my guard down and relaxed for a single moment I was going to crash out over the cliff.

I stayed tense for perhaps an hour and a half before remembering that I might get the results I wanted with a Nurophen Plus painkiller. I usually carry a card of these in my camera case as part of my mini first-aid kit - yes, I know first aid should not include painkillers as it stuffs up the assessment at the hospital, but I wasn't carrying them for hospital offenses, just seriously bad headaches. It worked. In about twenty minutes I found myself relaxing into a doze and slept right through to daylight.

Another bluetop day.

I stir some greentop powdered milk into my granola and add water. This year I've gone heavy on fruit and nuts in the granola, and laid off the protein powder, which tends to taste at the same time disgustingly sweet and chemically. A better tasting breakfast, but I notice that I am getting hungry again by 11 instead of lasting through to midday or later as I have in past years.

I wondered if I might source some protein powder that has not been flavoured and sweetened. Somebody said mayonnaise makers often had egg protein powder available, but only in commercial quantities. Must research that.

Lesleigh and Dakin are walking back to Onepoto to collect the jet boat and various other goodies and plan to meet us at Waiopaoa Hut tonight. My tramping purist is still feeling guilty at this abandonment of self-sufficiency, but I blew that yesterday anyway.

We kit up and head out along a neatly trimmed path. I am highly suspicious. My trust levels are around zero at present. We still have to descend that bloody cliff and I recall the term "very steep" in some notes I read somewhere.

I don't believe this. The edges of the path are carefully right-angled. There are no roots, just stumps where someone has cut through them.

Still the same. The bush is a darker green this side of the hut and I wonder whether there is an east-west divide of some sort happening, as Panekiri is a trig site as well.

A tiny horopito grows beside the track. Morning is always good for seeing small things.

This is motorway tramping. The dappled light is rather lovely. I am softening just a little. That ghastly bloody grey grass is still here though. I should try and find out its name. It's common enough to be in most alpine and sub-apline reference books.

Well, bugger me. I could have used some of those yesterday.

I don't believe it! I don't believe it! I'm hallucinating from all the chocolate in my granola.

There's some fine viewing trackside as well, like a sort of green poodle.

This is more like the Lake Track I'm used to.... Bog and grey grass.

No, I guess I have to admit it. I'm actually almost cheerful. and stuff like the light through this moss is just wonderful.

Against the bluetop sky a grotesquely twisted old beech is silhouetted.

Another chainsawed log.

More beechleaf carpet track. We're making good time. The DoC sign reckoned 4 hours which I had mentally turned into 7. Can I afford to start revising yet

We're heading downhill a little, which I had more or less expected, but we also seem to be well below the line of the clifftop. These paths are unbelievable. I just wish that some of this effort had been put into yesterday's track. Maybe next year?

On we go. I'm still shaking my head.

This looks more like regular track, but we are scarcely breaking stride..

This is about right, I reckon.




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