Sunday, January 14, 2007

First trip with the tramping club

In my 'younger' days' I used to go out tramping quite often with PNTMC (Palmerston North Tramping and Mountaineering Club), but I haven't been on a club trip for years. I decided that 2007 would have to be a year for more tramping, in view of my planned St James pilgrimage in 2008!

There was a nice 'easy' short local trip today, with a botanical focus, to just behind Woodville. I learned long ago that 'easy' in tramping club terms just refers to the overall length of the trip: it doesn't mean there are no steep hills! This trip was across an area of regenerating native bush that has been 'covenanted' to the QE2 National Trust.

Here you can see that farmland is interspersed with regenerating native bush. Areas of new slippage here are from the 2004 storms, and have occurred where there is no bush cover.

Above, a view of a major part of the area of the regenerated bush, and below, the sign as we entered the covenanted area.

I re-met a few people I knew back in my old tramping days. Here is Doug stepping it out across some fields on the way back to the cars.

You can get some idea of the steepness of the terrain here.
This photo shows how deformed the landscape is. (This area is not too far away from a major earthquake fault line.)

Here is Peter our leader sharing some of his botanical knowledge. I learned some things I had not realised before. The first trees to take root in the area were ones with windblown seeds. As they became established, birds moved in, and they brought the larger seeds that they tend to transport, so then different trees can start growing.
We learned various facts about some different species of trees and the children did really well on their 'test' at the end!
I was slow up the hills, but I loved getting out to a new bit of the countryside. I will be back on some more club trips soon! (My new Merrell shoes also got their first proper workout on this trip, and it was great to feel so secure wearing them on what was very wet grass at the start of the day. But now I need to clean them!!!)

12 January Swimming
It has been a lousy summer here. Ask the travel agents. They have record of numbers of people booking trips at short notice to warmer climes!!

But the last few days we have finally had some humid northerlies replacing southerly breezes with a nip to them. And today I actually got myself off to the Lido.

I wasn't sure how far I would try and swim. I have only been to the Lido one other time this season, and didn't actually count my distance. However, I started off today and felt fine in the water, so decided I would do ten lengths (500m). But that was coming too easily so I thought I would stretch it to 15 lengths. (750m) Then I realised I would need to do 16 lengths anyhow to get out near the steps, so I thought I may as well make it 1000m = 1km. Has a nice ring to it. (Though a few years back I swam more like 1500m on a usual swim.)

I had that great 'Yes I have exercised" feeling when I emerged from the pool and rewarded myself with a dip in the warm spa indoors. But I must admit my muscles do feel a little tired this evening!


  1. Excellent! I'm so glad you let me know to look here. Makes me want to get out in the "bush" more myself, although up here in the northern hemisphere, it's a rough time of year for that. :)

    Happy Tramping!

  2. Beautiful scenery! Tramping or hiking is such fun!

  3. of the best things I like about going out with a tramping club is that I really do get to see places I would not otherwise see. And I am definitely planning to do more of it this year. There is another trip on the weekend I am hoping to join....

  4. Ah, I used to love tramping through the Rimutakas, stopping overnight in some cabin in the mountains. Your clothes would smell of wood smoke for days!

  5. Hello, kn. When you say St. James pilgrimage in 2008, do you mean Saint Jacques de Compostelle? If so, how exciting! I was just reading in your header that you visited the Loire valley; that is where my husband is from, so I've been there several times. Hope you liked it!

  6. Yes, I do mean St Jacques de Compostella, though I plan to start in Le-Puy-en-Velay, and am not sure if I will go all the way to Compostella in the one year.
    I had a wonderful time in the Loire area. I was on a bicycle for five weeks so I got out into the rural area a lot.