Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tiritea -Greens- Kahuterawa- Old West Circuit

Today I decided that Camino training had to get serious, and planned out a route that I thought might be close enough to 25km on some local rural roads. There are two reasons some of these roads recently came to my attention. #1 is that my income for the next few months will be limited, so I need to train close to home. #2 is that there has been recent publicity, as local routes have been opened linking into the Te Araroa route that is proposed to traverse NZ eventually.

I hit the carpark on Old West Rd for the Upper Tiritea Walkway at 7.30am. Given the brilliant sunshine already, I could well have done with more discipline and got here at first light. Ahhh maybe another time! I discovered quite a few new things about my local area in this walk, despite the fact I have lived in PN for nearly 23 years now! First thing was that I never knew they were creating 'green corridors' on Tiritea Rd. And it would seem I could have walked close to the stream somewhere near here as well, but I missed the walkway sign at the bottom and only found it at the top. (Something new remains for another day!)

The skies were blue and the sunshine was gorgeous.

Passed this horse happily munching in a field on Tiritea Rd so took a photo for Lorenzo!

From Tiritea Rd I ended up on what I think is one end of Greens Rd. Only traffic that passed me was a water tanker. The lack of rain must already be troubling rural dwellers. Then I reached a section of Greens Rd that has been closed to vehicles, and is narrower. It was lovely walking here, until a mountain biker came zooming downhill and nearly collected me! Met two other walkers, and one of them was a parent of a former pupil. It's funny really that I nearly always meet someone I know when I am out walking. But I guess you meet a lot of people over time when you are a teacher.

Another blue skies shot. Couldn't resist it really. Good practice for Spain walking in all this sunshine I guess, but I was starting to use more water bottle more often by this stage of the morning!
The route felt fairly gentle mostly. But looking back you could see how in places there had been a bit of a climb.
So maybe it shouldn't have come as a surprise when I finally emerged out to a view over Kahuterawa Rd and the Manawatu plains below. It was a surprisingly big descent down to Kahuterawa Rd, yet I hadn't felt as if I had climbed much.

Here is another photo dedicated to Lorenzo the Llama. On Kahuterawa Rd I met up with these two riding horses. (I had seen them earlier on their outward route along Greens Rd.) They realised I must have walked quite a distance and offered that I could call in if I needed a lift the rest of the circuit back to my car. Maybe I looked old and tired!
However, the more difficult parts of the walk were already behind me, and not much more than an hour after I saw the horse-riders, five hours after I had started, I was back at my car. Last weekend after my shorter rural walk up Kahuterawa Rd, I had felt like I was betraying the countryside by hopping in my car at the end. This time I sank into it gratefully, with no guilt whatsoever!


  1. 25K in 5 hours is quite good going. Well done. Thanks for the pictures of the horses. Did you stroke them?
    Are you intending to average 25K a day doing the Camino? You will be soooooo strong when you get back.
    I've got a 10K race today. Bit nervous as it is ages since I raced. I'm not actually intending to race, but just jog it in a slow, controlled jog and hope I don't get carried away by the crowd. In a moment of optimism I have entered a half marathon in the Spring (Autumn for you) and am thinking about a marathon next October. We'll see though. Training for a marathon takes so much time and I don't think I can be bothered to do all that again.
    Love Lorenzo.

  2. A very interesting post Kiwi. Yes, green corridors can play an important role in population dispersion and homogeneity of the gene pool.

  3. Lorenzo.... I 'rough guessed' from the map beforehand that it might be about 25km. The fact that I finished in five hours, and did not particularly hurry along the way, shows it was probably more like 20-22km!
    Some people average 25km per day on the Camino... I have no intentions of going that fast. I will have a big pack on my pack rather than a day pack for starters. Plus I intend to enjoy every flower, every old ruin, every stream along the way. To say nothing of having long, leisurely lunches where possible. To start with I would be quite happy with 12-15km per day, and could well find other walkers laughing at me. But will I let that bother me? Nope!
    One of my sisters does crazy things like running half and full marathons and 10K runs etc. For myself,l I got really good at avoiding the school cross country!

  4. I quite agree. There is nothing but speed to be gained by trying to do too much in one day. It't much better to enjoy yourself and wallow in all the flowers, birds and Spanish men!
    Love Lorenzo.

  5. Are you still having nice weather?
    It's chucking it down at the moment!