Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Back in the Manawatu Gorge

I am firmly back on home turf now, and have been doing quite a bit of swimming in the heat. But I have also been back on the Manawatu Gorge track- a beloved place for many of us who live nearby.

Today I arrived mid-morning, and it was already quite warm. The skies were blue, and the sun was gleaming on the water. I've come here other times when the cold wind has been whistling through the Gorge, and I have donned several layers of clothing just to leave the carpark- but not today.

I walked the Tawa Loop Track- which is rich in nikau palms.

It's good to see some berries here. There has been pest control going on, that hopefully has reduced the numbers of possums that I guess might eat these treats.

There are of course many tall thick tawa trees- with a few purple berries showing on the ground at present- I hope kereru are eating some of those. And many tree ferns that sometimes stand with their frond patterns revealed in the light on a day like today.

One thing about walking at home is that you have some 'history' with the place. A lot of work has been done to make this track more accessible to many more walkers. There are footbridges, seats, steps.
I do remember walking here when you clambered over rocks to come up this small stream, some of them quite tall for my short legs, so that I was glad of someone's hand to haul me up. I loved those 'adventures' on rougher land- but I know I wouldn't be still walking this track now if it was still 'tricky'. I am thankful for the work that has been done to make this a track that more of us locals can use.
This is the view from Tom's Lookout on the Tawa Loop part of the track. If you look closely you might just see the ribbon of the Manawatu River on the flat plain. And when you have lived here a while, you might have met Tom. There is a seat here where you can catch your breath, and sit and admire the view.

But even on a track I know quite well, there are still surprises each time. Often it is the way the sunlight catches fern fronds or spiderwebs, that takes my eye. But today one special surprise was the way a fern leaf was reflected in the small moving stream. The photo doesn't really capture it- but the fern reflection was 'shimmering' as the water moved.

So that was today's walk. Next time the light and weather will make it a different walk, and I will meet different people along the track. But for today, I headed straight to the swimming pool after this swim, glad to cool down a little!

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