I have been enjoying reading some excellent winter posts from some of my northern hemisphere blogging buddies lately. Maalie writes of a walk near his home in Cumbria just after Christmas, and also about a bird survey he is involved in that requires excursions into the great cold outdoors. My Camino blogging friend, Johnnie Walker, has just posted about his winter adventures crossing O'Cebreiro to reach Galicia. Rebekah had some wonderful photos of snow on the Meseta near Moratinos, quickly followed by the nightmare of frozen water pipes!
But though I like reading about these adventures, I am quite glad to be pottering around in our summer temperatures. Summer was slow in coming this year, and it remains somewhat 'iffy' at best, but finally I can go out walking in shorts at least sometimes!
My holiday this year is mainly 'close to home' but there are actually plenty of simple, cheap things to do and enjoy locally, especially when you like walking and taking photos...
Today I drove to Bledisloe Park near Massey, and took the walk up to Old West Rd and return. The path starts off quite flat beside Massey grounds, and there are several wee bridges to cross. With the dappled sunlight, I sink into a 'relaxed' frame of mind as soon as I see them...After a stretch of legs on the flat, you next find there is a bit of climbing to do, but very soon you emerge to views of university buildings, and Manawatu countryside.
There were even some crops to view, and I felt like I was taking similar photos to those I took in the south-west of France on the Chemin in 2008. In fact, people quite often ask why I don't do a similar walk here at home, and the answer basically is that I would love to- but the infrastructure of well-spaced, cheap places to stay and eat isn't here. In France I only needed to carry a minimal smallish pack... Plus, there were always enough others walking for me to feel perfectly safe as a solo walker...
There were some well-spaced picnic tables along the walking route today. I should have brought Arohanui along- she would have loved a picnic.... ah wellll...... next time!
There were great views over to the Tararua Ranges.
One thing I did in France was take photos of 'interesting signs', and I guess they were all the more interesting to me as French was a foreign language. But really, these signs are quite interesting in their own right- they tell quite a 'Manawatu' story.
There are supposed to be more winds and rain arriving.... the clouds over the ranges do look as if there might be a change coming.... but I hope it won't be too long before (Arohanui and) I bring you the next 'close-to-home- holiday adventure!