Lovely views were had across the valley to the Ruahine Ranges behind as we started off. The forecast was for plenty of warm sunshine, and it certainly felt warm as we first headed up the road so we could make a circuit.
We weren't the only ones out enjoying the day: we were passed by quite a few vintage cars out on a rural rally. It came time to head off the road and up the hill on farmland. Felt very warm making that climb, and I was the slowest...... I am always the slowest up the hills.....but I don't think I was as slow as last time I made this climb two years ago.
I was reminded as I climbed of the lovely walker from the mountains of Grenoble, who passed me heading up the steep road out of Montbonnet last April. She was sticking with me, but I told her to go ahead, as I knew I was holding her up. She kindly replied with the French understanding that 'each person has their own rhythm' that always makes you feel better when you are the slowest!
Once we had descended the hill we all gathered under a shady tree for a rest and drinks of water. Someone produced some "Buzz Bars" since we were on the Beehive Creek track.... And here Doug demonstrates the only kind of snake you get in New Zealand - edible ones!!
It was a great day out, with all ages on the tramp. Here a very young tramper descends from the stile. Who knows where this young one will choose to go in the future?!
Much of the last part of the walk was down the stream itself. It was just heaven splashing through the water, which was actually quite low, and warm. I caught sight of this native koura in the stream bed. Maybe it wasn't in the best condition, being out in the daytime, and with the water temperature as it was. If you want to know more about koura though, here are some links, from DOC, RSNZ, NZ freshwater org, and a photo from the Rimutaka Trust.