Getting lost, heavy backpacks and leaky tents are just three reasons not to go tramping. Then there’s re-hydrated food, sharing huts with snoring strangers and uncomfortable footwear. If that’s your experience of hiking, then private walks with luggage carried, meals provided and well marked trails are for you. I’ve just come back from the three-day, two-night Tararua Walk. It starts north of Masterton. There are many others around New Zealand, each covering diverse countryside and requiring differing levels of fitness. We covered 10kms on the first day, 13kms on the second and then had an easy hour’s walk out on the final day (although we could have done a longer walk that day). Tracks were well marked, delicious meals provided and the accommodation comfortable and in stunning, tranquil locations. It was a real privilege to experience the beauty of New Zealand farm, bush and wetland and to be hosted by knowledgeable and generous guides. We were the last group of the season but get a group of friends together and plan a walk in Spring. You’ll need a moderate level of fitness to enjoy it. Comfortable boots make life much more pleasurable. Take ear plugs as you may find your friends snore just as much as strangers!
It’s time to plant your garlic in Wellington, spread compost and you might even get green manure to germinate. I reckon some diligent weeding now will stand me in good stead for spring – all too easy to leave them there as they’re not growing very fast. The leeks and parsnips are progressing well and tunnel house salad, carrots and herbs are keeping us fed. Stored pumpkins, onions and potatoes are very welcome. The compost heap is up to 65 degrees and I know I’ll be glad of it in spring time. Lots of mice in the traps still so I’m sending out for peanut butter supplies.
Evenings drawing in give more time for reading. Here is some more ‘food for thought’: