Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kahuterawa Rd- springtime

 I have begun 'training' for a couple of Chemins in France next year... and today took a 20km walk up my old training haunt- Kahuterawa Rd. I had walked the first 4km last weekend, so mostly walked swiftly up this part of the route, without taking photo breaks- but I couldn't possibly pass by without taking a photo of this handsome rooster. His crowing was apparent from well down the road.

Once you pass beyond the Green's Rd intersection, things become more isolated and 'wild' looking, and the river keeps you company as you walk.

It was calm when I started out, and so I was able to take a photo of some young pine cones: the past two weekends it has been too windy and they were moving too quickly for a close-up...

This shot is taken from the bridge at the top end of Kahuterawa Rd, where the Sledge Track starts, and where this bridge leads to Burton's Track. It marked about 10km of walking, and I had a 10km return trip ahead of me. I sat at the picnic tables and had 'lunch' at about 10am (!) then rewarded myself with a chocolate treat, before heading back down the road.

Drizzle started as I left, and a kind elderly man stopped to offer me a lift. I think I know who he was- a man who has done a lot of volunteer work to open up the tracks in this area for people's recreation. But I didn't want a lift- I am likely to encounter far heavier springtime rain on the route from Cluny next year, and I was 'training'. The man understood. I love the sense of 'mystery' in the hills when their tops are draped in cloud like this.

 I was excited to see some clematis growing against a rocky outcrop on the roadside where I could get a close view of it. (Mostly it is higher up in the trees.) I was reminded of all the spring flowers I saw in 2008 when I walked south from Le-Puy-en-Velay. Somehow, the northern spring seems not at all far away.

 This is a view approaching the Green's Rd intersection from the uphill end of Kahuterawa Rd: it's not so often I reach it from this direction, and the gnarly old macrocarpa stand out from here.

 One of the things I loved last time when I walked along this road many times to 'train' was that I saw the changing of the seasons- from spring to summer to the beginnings of autumn (when I left NZ to go and walk in the French spring...) My heart already is singing with the thought of the changes I will see in the countryside, and I was glad to see so very many obvious signs of spring. There were only glimpses of sunshine this morning, but the light brought these tiny little leaflets to life.

And the lambs- they always announce 'spring'!


  1. I love the rooster (you're completely right, he's very handsome) and lambs pics and the landscape ones obviously. I'm green of envy, what a finest environment you have in New Zealand. Lord of the Ring made a good tourism marketing for NZ but your photos and wanderings can stand right alongside.

  2. That first river pic looks just like parts of N. England or Scotland, Kiwi.

  3. Thanks A-B-C- it makes me happy to be able to walk in these kinds of places so close to home. Robert, the European settlers cleared most of the bush that was here, to make pasture like at home!

  4. Wow.. 20 k is a good opening training walk!

  5. It's my third training walk, but my first long one. Undulating road, but not too bad. I will have to get into the Gorge soon for some decent hills! But I really do love the countryside out this way, and love to see all the seasonal changes- whereas the Gorge has bush that is more 'constant'.

  6. Kay, I have an ingrown toenail that I think is going to need attention before I go, so I was keen to put a bit of 'pressure' on it to see how it went. It was OK for one day, but I suspect not for 'many'....

  7. Geez I would love to be able to do a 20km walk! Photos are Fab! France next year, eh Kiwi? Lucky you!

  8. I was pleased I managed it. Bit hilly in places, but on the road. My pace was much slower at the end! Going to walk from Cluny to Le Puy to just past Conques; then another walk closer to the Pyrenees- not sure how far along that route or whether I will go into Spain. Looking forward to it already!