Sunday, July 06, 2014

Two more walks with Strava

I've used the Strava Mobile App a few more times, and find it quite motivating when I can find out how far I have walked, and what kind of altitude change there has been. Of course around the main part of Palmy itself, there isn't much altitude change- just a few river terraces as blips on the flood plains.

I used the App when I headed up Kahuterawa Rd two weeks ago- up and back. This was one of the first routes I used when I started training for my 2008 Camino. I'd estimated it was 4km up to Green's Rd from my friend's place at the bottom end of the road, but discovered my journey was a little over that- 8.7km round trip. I was interested to know whether in fact Strava would manage to record my journey up here, as I thought my mobile reception could well be 'patchy' out in this countryside. But it succeeded.

I was a little bemused by the altitude graph at first, since I knew the highest altitude was at the top end of the road- but then I remembered I came back downhill the same distance. (Duhh!) Even though it was only 100m or so in altitude change, there are a few steepish hills on this leg that were good training for the Camino.

I still remember the sense of elation I had the first time I rounded a corner and saw this farm shed- though it was painted red then. Somehow it seemed to say 'beautiful country road for walking'. It seemed almost like a betrayal of my memories the day I saw they had painted it green!

 There are several narrow rural bridges on the route.

Getting close to Green's Rd, I had noticed there always seemed to be hay bales in this paddock. Usually I don't see cows here, but I haven't really walked this road in midwinter before, and it seems likely they are getting food supplements now.

The only disappointment for me on this 're-walk' was the extra sign on the corner with Green's Rd. Over recent years I have taken a few photos of the two blue signs that mark the end of this climb- but now there is also a huge 'city' kind of sign that seems most incongruous on the corner.

 The blue skies and fluffy clouds were very welcome winter sights.

 I have seen a professional shot of this hillside with the trees on top that was a Prizewinner. My shot just gives you a taste of the landscape...

The second walk I want to share was one I did today. I parked my car down at the end of Albert St by the Manawatu River walkway. My route took me along the river walk to the Esplanade, then back along the Lagoon. Again I recorded it with Strava, and this time discovered I'd walked less than I had imagined- 6km.

Here's the Strava App record of where I walked. I didn't actually paddle in the river, though I came quite close up beside it near the cliffs. I won't give you the altitude graph this time- it didn't change much.

Down near the cliffs I took this shot of some seed heads. That's the vibrant colour of the cliffs you can see behind in the background. 

 On a winter Sunday like today, there are always heaps of people on the river walkway, walking or cycling, or scootering.

 Not far from the bridge is this area of Scout seating, and near it is an enclosed circle clearly intended for campfire activities. But these days there are quite a few alcohol cans lying nearby on a Sunday morning.

 A graphics student has done a wonderful job of making the river monitoring station more informative.

After a short wander in the Esplanade I retraced my steps, but then diverted to the Lagoon. Walking here, rather than driving, I sat on a seat right at one end where there was this view of the little island. I'd always missed this viewpoint before when coming by car, or even bicycle.

 The Lagoon as always had lots of bird life to see. Quite a few Canadian geese here at present. And though I have seen them another year in winter, I was still surprised to see Ma and Pa Swan already had a full family of cygnets. I counted six babies to look after between the pair of them.

One of the things I most like about the Strava App is that it manages to work out when I have stopped for a drink or to take photos, and it manages to work out my timing without including those stoppages. Clever thing!

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