Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hiking in the Mud


Today, we woke up intending to go on a short three hour hike to a seal colony before leaving the camp.  We did not heed the clock as we left, and took off on the long trail with adventures lying ahead.  The first part of the walk was easy and we followed a wide, flat trail.  To either side of us grew hedges and thorn bushes.  The weather was fine and sunny, save occasional gusts of heavy winds.  We followed this trail down to the beach that we had explored last night.  We had already walked for about forty-five minutes when we came to a bridge that lead across a lagoon full of yellow and red brackish water.  After crossing the lagoon, we came to a vast jungle.  Right as we walked past the first tree, I saw a dark cloud in the far distance advancing towards the jungle.  I shivered and turned my head back to the trail.






After another half hour of hiking, we came to a sign pointing us to the seal colony.  It displayed the approximate round trip hiking time as two hours.  We had the hubris to think that we could make the hike in considerably less time.  The trail grew wet and difficult.  Muddy marshes and trees blocked our way.  My parent’s feet were outfitted with only flip-flops and were taking a beating.  Dad’s flip-flop strap tore and became unusable.  He left them at the side of the trail to pick up on the way back.  Mom’s foot ware started to tear and she, too, soon left hers. Both my mom and dad were now walking the rough and muddy trail in bare feet.  It soon became apparent that it would take us much longer than expected to complete this journey.  We continued on as the trail sloped downward towards the ocean.  We dropped off the trail into a ravine leading to the final beach.  We had made it and were eager to explore the seal colony.



Carefully, and with sore feet, we proceeded down the beautiful beach.  Big waves caused surf to smash against the boulders along the rocky coast line.  To one side of us lay a vast ocean, to the other, waterfalls and big rocks.  Soon we came upon a seal basking in the sun.  We watched as he turned his head and observed us with keen and curious eyes.  After enjoying the scene, we turned our heads and headed back up the long trail.









Back along the muddy trail, Dad and Mom picked up their broken flip flops.  Dad continued bare foot, while Mom walked carefully in her weakening sandals.  With time, Dad’s aching feet on the rough and rocky terrain were causing him to go very slowly. Mom and I ran ahead to get Dad’s sneakers from the car and bring them back to him.  We started out walking quickly, but then a sad sight made us speed up.  We had left the jungle and had the darkening open sky before us.  Rain drops fell upon us from the clouded sky.  Soon the rain and wind increased.  I looked back at Mom, cold and miserable.  I started to run.  Mom was close behind.  Past the rain, past the driftwood, a cold wind licked my cheeks.  We quickened our pace.  Soon, we were on the wide open trail, now less pleasant.  Harder and harder we ran until the car lay ahead of us.  Dad was close behind us and soon we were all warm and accounted for in the dry car.  It was five o’clock and the day was failing.  The trip had taken us four and a half hours.  So much for beating the estimated time on the sign!  

We have driven to a cafe over looking Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman.  I had an amazing dinner while watching the light of the setting sun cast upon the mountains.  What a day!





Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!

9 comments:

  1. What a story! I laughed! I cried! I gasped in fear as the tension built! And then I wept like my sister when everyone was safe in the end. Sorry, strike that - wept like a stranger. No, a onion-peeler. No, a onion pealer? Naw, that makes no sense. Whatever... Great pictures too Rohan!

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  2. Hi Rohan - You are turning into a wonderful writer. I can see your vocabulary growing by leaps and bounds. Sent me to the dictionary today looking for hubris? What a day is right! Makes me tired just to read your description. You might be glad to hear that the Rays got Carolos Pena back! xoxo Grandmalish

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  3. An epic tale of humble adventurers overcoming all manner of challenges! Excellent story telling!

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    1. I am old wise man. I tell you good story.

      Rohan the Blonde

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  4. We laughed, we wept, and gashed our teeth as your saga unfolded. Rohan, your blog today was over the top!
    What beautiful country you are traveling through.

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  5. Thanks for reminding me how much I loved New Zealand. I was only there for 7 months but it changed my life! About the trails...In the states I always beat the estimated time but never in NZ; They assume you are fit (and wearing proper gear!).

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    1. My dad says Hi and "hey, I am fit!!!???"!!

      Rohan

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