Monday, December 31, 2007

St James Walkway - Day 3

We awoke again reasonably early (its hard not to when the sun rises just after 5am). The morning was cooler than the others, the sky was overcast and looked like it could rain. We did the usual breakfast of muesli and pack everything up, getting happier that the pack is SLOWLY getting lighter as we eat more food. Once again we left before the family of three (Geoff, Sue and Navare), today was open for most of the day so it was good that the day was overcast, kept the harsh sun off us a bit. Not far into the day we came across a herd of cows, one which got very angry and began to charge as we got a bit close to her young one...bastard cows! make sure you eat lots of beef as payback!. The day seemed to take a long time, but there were some amazing views, close encounters with more cows and some wild horses up close. It did feel good though when we got to spend lunch by a small side stream (Jacksons stream I think), the sun came out and so did the sand flies...but it was so good to eat some food. We decided to keep moving on our slog to Anne huts. Shortly after lunch it was a lot of uphill which I just didn't want to do...but there were some interesting caterpillars all over the plants on the path, colorful butterflies and a huge dragonfly. Not long after seeing the dragonfly we got a glimpse of Anne Huts across the Anne river, and how inviting the river looked!. Once again we did the usual ritual of throwing our packs down, claiming beds and taking those hot boots off (mainly for Emma whose toes we no longer toes, just blisters on blisters). The afternoon had become really hot so we went down to the river for a wash and then returned to the hut for some relaxation time, where once again we played the night away with uno and sudoku. Better get some sleep as tomorrow we are going to push for Boyle Flats hut instead of the intended Rokeby hut. (The sunset pictured is the last one of 2007)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

St James Walkway - Day 2

Day 2 began with an early wake as the birds were singing in the nearby trees and the sun was shining through the window. We slowly got up and headed for the table to have some breakfast. The group of women were busy getting things together ready for their day drip up the valley towards Three Tarn Pass (better them than us!). We finally got everything put away and struggling to get everything back in the pack, why does nothing go back in the way you first had it? Anyway, with a few small things offloaded to Emma I got everything to fit and it was off we went. Today started off in the dense forests with an occasional glimpse down the valley and a look up at the stunning peaks of Gloriana and Faerie Queene. We stopped about 10am for the usual scroggin stop on a log that had fallen over the track. We were just behind a couple that had decided to bivvy ahead of the hut and the family from Greymouth were probably a wee way behind now, we got moving again and continued to weave in and out of the forest with gorgeous views up the Ada river. We ever got to see some wild horses on the opposite bank which was cool (fingers crossed we see some more up close). The day was stunning with hardly a cloud in the sky, we were baking and looking forward to a lunch break, we decided to stop at the old Christopher Cullers hut for some lunch (and managed to catch the other two there). We sat around in the shade at the old cullers hut for a while before painfully beginning to move again, a short walk of 30min or so and we could see Christopher hut staring at us in the vast flats, oh how good that looked!. We arrived at the hut, took our laden packs off and slipped into some jandals. Signed the hut book and headed for the river to have a wash. The river was so cold on the legs, but you did get used to it, however the cold water on your head and pretty much the rest of your body was numbing, thankfully it was still scorching outside. Feeling refreshed we headed back to the hut and spent the afternoon playing uno and trying our luck at sudoku's. The family of three arrived late afternoon (probably a good 3-4 hours after us) so the night was spent talking and playing cards until we all hit the sack at some early hour (we deserved it!)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

St James Walkway - Day 1

An early start from Christchurch before the 2hr drive to the Boyle outdoor education centre. The day was looking to be a cracker weather wise, however I was not looking forward to the idea of carrying my over laden pack (why did I put so much crap in?). The trip started at the Boyle centre where we picked up one of the outdoor education staff, headed on our way to the lewis pass entrance and let her take the car back to the outdoor education centre. Most of the day was spent sidling around Cannibal Gorge, after about 2.5hr we arrived for a much needed breather at Cannibal Gorge hut to find peoples gear strewn over the hut (apparently on a day walk today). We soon continued for the last section to Ada Hut (approx 1.5hr) which followed the river with some beautiful views and Emma's favorite 'Billy Goat Gruff Bridge'. We arrived at Ada hut early afternoon, claimed our beds and baked in the afternoon sun while being eaten alive.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Lunch at Marks

Thanks to Mark & Anne for putting on a lovely dinner and lunch as usual. Good to have the family together again and get some pics. Not a lot else to say really, Merry Christmas to everyone for Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Theiving Bastards!!!

What a way to start the day, walk outside and find you van window broken, the nav cable hanging out the window (Navman stolen, RT stolen and my calculator stolen). Little bastards, I would love to find them and kick the living shit out of them. And since we have been told to take them out of a night (I forgot last night) I am up for replacements, somewhere in the vicinity of $2K. Merry fucking Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


This is why it pays to take care when walking, look where you are going! The photo shows the results of walking into the corner of an open aluminum window.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Franz Josef Glacier Film Shoot - On the Ice

We were up at 6am (well Emma and I were, Roeloff and Steve are rather hard to get up) but Saturday was gorgeous weather without a cloud in the sky and looked to be a good day for it all. We headed off to the Guides center to meet Kerry (who stayed up all night because she didn't want to sleep in (ever heard of an alarm?). Anyway we got all geared up and headed for the helicopter pad. The helicopter ride was seriously soooooo fun! the pilot took us for a fly through a massive ice crevasse and over the Neve' at the top of the glacier, over Almer hut and dropped us on the heli-hike site where we began the full day of filming, walking, flying and crevasse hopping. Basically a fantastic day and looking forward to the next heli flight :o)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Franz Josef Glacier Film Shoot

This weekend Emma, Roeloff, Steve and Myself are heading to Franz for a film shoot for Franz Josef Glacier Guides (Steve and myself are just the helper carry things people). We left today at about 2pm (later than expected as Roeloffs car broke down while coming over to our place). The drive went really well with only a couple of stops, we arrived nearly 8pm and Emma's parents had some 'fantastic' lasagna on the table shortly after. We spent a lot of the night around the table talking (and giving Kerry shit about her drinking problem, well that the conclusion Roeloff and Steve came too). The rest of the night was spent getting gear ready then off to bed as we had an early start on sat.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jumbo-Holdsworth Day 3

Half the hut were up at 6am for an early depature to catch a flight home to Timaru. But the ramining 6 of us slept in to 7:30ish before slowly getting out of bed, some breakfast and repack everything. The day was absolutly beautiful with hardly a cloud in the sky. Today was all one thing, downhill and in parts were near vertical which wasn't the best on the knees but I guess this was outweighed by the amazing bust with the sun filtering through. Andrew and Kevin went first as they knew they were slower (as Kevin had bad knees), Carlie and myself walked together and Tony and Jo went leisurely at the back. Carlie and myself were first to make it to the bottom (where Atiwhakatu hut is) where we waited for everyone else to catch up. The rest of the trip was reasonably flat in comparison but the views down the river were spectacular. But before we knew it we were back at the Holdsworth Lodge signing out and throwing packs into the car. Carlie caught a ride back to Petone train station with me as the other 2 were going mountain biking (well Tony was - bloody energizer bunny!!). After an hour of non-stop talking I was dropping her off at the train station and heading back to camp to get my kitchen unit. Oh and have a shower, mmmn showers feel so good after 3 days of sweating! Now, whats for dinner?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jumbo-Holdsworth Day 2

Awake at 6:30am to the sound of birds chirping, then out of bed around 7am with a few photos, some weetbix and a slow cold packup and I was on the trail just after 8am. The walk/climb to Powell Hut was a bit of a grind but got good cellphone reception on the way up so got to have a good chat to Emma which lifted spirits a lot. The views form a rocky outcrop nearing the edge of the treeline were beautiful (looking back across the Rimutakas and across to Wellington in the far distance. After an hour or so of fast paced tramping I arrived at Powell hut, signed the guest book, took some more pics and moved on. Next was the climb to Mt Holdsworth (only a vertical height gain of 270m from Powell Hut but it felt a lot more!) I could see people on the top of Holdsworth so raced to catch them, I did just just as they were leaving and beginning the traverse across to Jumbo. So I had a quick bite to eat (pita bread and that plastic cheese like McD's use) on the summit of Holdsworth before catching up to the three (who were the three that went past me at 10pm last night). They were more than happy for me to walk with them as they too were going to Jumbo hut for the night. We took a leisurely pace to the summit of Jumbo (1405m) and I found out their names (Tony, Jo & Carlie). We quickly descended to Jumbo Hut, claimed our beds, had lunch (well they did), had a nap (once again they did while I attempted my diabolical sudoku). Just after 3:30pm 4 of us (Toni, myself, Andrew and Carlie) decided to go walk to a plane crash site on shingle slip knob but after looking at a dodgy ridgeline just below Angle Knob we decided not to go there. We motored back to Jumbo Hut and arrived back at 6:30pm making a nice 3hr return trip. Dinner was a back country cuisine then time to complete my sudoku, chat to everyone and hit the sack.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Jumbo-Holdsworth Day 1

Awake and up before 7am to get everything packed away and into the car as I will not be back at camp until Sunday afternoon. Tech was ok today, learned how to do arc welding (when I say learn how to, we get a basic instruction and some 'birdshit' looking welds). The whole morning was spent welding, some Lamb Rogan Josh for tea and then into the workshop for the afternoon (floor waste gullies and then mucked around with my lobster back bend). We were let out of class 15mins early today which was great as I got to beat most of the traffic, arriving at the Holdsworth lodge around 5:40pm. I was slightly pissed off about now as I had managed to hit a hawk on the was there and damn near smashed my wing mirror off the car (at least it didnt come through the windscreen). Anyway I quickly changed clothes, put my pack on and hit the trail. It was a bit of a hard slog to mountain house but made it there by 7:20pm, had some dinner and setup bed for the night (however should have moved on to the much nicer Powell Hut for the night). About 9pm that night I was startled by a group of 5 trampers heading for Powell Hut, then a few mins later I was rudely awoken (and freaked out) by a huge fucking rat that jumped on me!!! after that I was not wanting to go back to sleep. Then at 10pm awoken (sort of, I was not really sleeping) by 3 more trampers heading for Powell Hut (why didn't I join them?). The rest of the night was a terrible sleep with the head torch on all night to try and discourage mr rat from coming back.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Journey Begins....

Today began at an early 6:50am (well early for a sunday anyway!). I got out of bed, had breakfast, washed up and threw the remaining things in the car and was on the road by 7:30am. The drive to Picton went well with only a brief stop in Kaikoura to use the toilet, then battle through some rain and finally arrive in Picton about 11:30am. Some lunch in Picton then join the lines of cars waiting to board the 1:15pm sailing of the interislander. I began the sailing in the kids area but shortly went outside and sat on the sun deck for the remainder of the journey (level 10 of the Kaitaki). The sun was so strong but the wind was bitterly cold! I arrived in Wellington about 4:30pm, disembarked and headed for Hutt Park Top 10 where I setup camp which will be home for the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Last post for a while?

Well today was spent packing or getting things ready for going to Wellington. I can't believe how much stuff I took. For 2 weeks I managed to completely fill the boot and backseat of my car. However in my defense I am camping and doing 2 tramps while away so there is a lot of extra crap there. But this is just a quick post to say bye for now and will write when I get home (unless I can get to an internet cafe in town or something).

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wellington here I come

Well its only a few days now and I will be off to Wellington again for block course number 2. Leaving Sunday morning, driving to Picton and catching the ferry across to Welly. I am actually quite excited to go again, it sucks being away from Emma and stuff but I have a few things planned so it should be good fun. Since I am only going to be there one weekend I figured I might do a tramp up there since I don't get that opportunity very often. I have decided to do the Holdsworth-Jumbo circuit in Tararua Forest Park. Then on the way home I will be parking up just outside Kaikoura and doing the My Fyffe tramp (nice easy one), well all that is weather permitting, so fingers crossed its going to be nice! Nothing else to report, just the same ol shit with work and chores. Until next time....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Coffee with an old friend

Tonight I finally caught up with Meagen after a couple of years. We just met up at coffee culture in Merivale and managed to chat for over two and a half hours! I actually thought I was going to sit there like a deaf mute but I guess we still have common things to talk about. Anyway it was a good night until we were 'kind of' forced to leave, you know that feeling you get when the staff are packing up and cleaning around yeah. Until next time have a good night all.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kowai River walk

Last night we decided to do a walk up the upper part of the Kowai river (by Porters Pass). We set off about 10am (delayed start after a late night watching movies and then waiting for the damn camera to charge in the morning). We arrived at the start of the walk about 11am, got our boots and gaiters on then headed off. The first part of the track was across farmland, so we decided to bash a way down to the river and walk along the riverbed (crossing the Kowai several times before we reached where Foggy Stream joined into the Kowai). At this point I climbed a small shingle screed and ran down it hurting my hand on the way down. We decided to head back and opted for the farmland track on the way home, this was ok except for the huge boggy parts where the cattle had trampled the ground (which Emma managed to find the deepest bog hole around sinking well past her knee in stinking muck). We quickly hurried back to the start of the track where Emma dropped back into the river and washed her boots, gaiters and pants. The drive home seemed to be quick with a quick stop in Sheffield for a pie and yummy slice. All in all a good day out :o)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

First day of work

Well today I began my first day of work at Action Plumbing, pretty much I just hung around with someone today to get the ropes of how everything worked (tomorrow possibly will be much the same). Was different to what I was used to with Dave, kind of slow and boring...and the paperwork system is pretty lame. Basically if I could go back to Dave now I would!! At this early stage I would say I don't know if this place is right for me...lets hope Aaron gets his shit together and gets Pristine Plumbing back up and running! (shhh keep that a secret!). I will give it a good go here but if its not what I want then there is no point staying right? More to follow when I get my own van in a day or so.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Job offers

Today was an early start with my first job offer at 8am with Clyne & Bennie, the interview went well and he offered me the job if I wanted it. But I knew I still had a few others to go to (although I only went to 2 others), however at the end of the day I was given 5 job opportunities and need to make a decision. I have narrowed it down to two so will have to think about it and see what each one has to offer....More to follow when I get one of the jobs :o)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

End of an Era

Well today marked the end of an era, today at 8:30am the liquidators came and took over at Pristine Plumbing and it was all over with one foul swoop. Dave lost everything, I felt so bad for him, seeing a strong man like him break down into tears. We were all told by the liquidators that as of that minute all our contracts were terminated and we were unemployed just like that! I guess its time to go searching for more jobs ay?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

How Boring

Well this is the 5th day now that I have been sitting in the office 'managing jobs', what fucking jobs? I dont know what is going on but the phone is hardly ringing. Where has all the work suddenly gone? are all the other bloody plumbers stealing it?

Basically I am driving myself insane trying to entertain myself, I am having to tell guys to go home about lunch time because there is no work for them, I am about to leave and go home myself and its only lunch time....might go do a cash job to get some money because this is insane.

Do i start to look for a new job? Ahhhh!! I am tearing my hair out.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Take a look at these two videos, the sport of cup stacking. It is really fascinating and incredible!! look at the hands go!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Gotta love Fridays

Nothing much to report really, today was manic at work but thats ok as its friday and I dont have to go to work tomorrow. Got home and found a letter laying in the garden from UPS saying they had left my delivery under the BBQ (fantastic, thank UPS soo much for leaving it, nothing fucks me off more than having to pick it up off them or wait until next week for them to try again), so yeah my boots arrived from America today (bloody quick, thanks Sierra Trading Post). Anyway I cant be assed writing too much more as I have been typing quotes most of the day, so here is a good vid off you-tube to finish the week off with a laugh

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Household Day

Today was one of those days you knew were coming and were putting it off. The flat decided to get together today and have a massive cleaning binge. The house was such a bloody tip (probably clean by most people's standard but I am such a clean freak!). Anyway we all pitched in and gave mainly the kitchen and bathroom a huge clean, and it is sooo much nicer now! it actually makes you want to be in there. Emma and I also did some appliance shopping at Briscoes where we walked away with a new toaster, bread maker and kitchen scales. Aren't we so domesticated? Cory popped over to say hi and came up with the smart comment of "you two just need to get engaged then you will have all the appliances you will ever need". Thanks mate! but it was good to see him, Wendy and little Caleb.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Quiet Friday

With not much work on at the moment I decided to stay home and do some work for myself. Mainly consisted of assignments for my apprenticeship, however first thing in the morning I went into town to try on some mountaineering boots I found on the net (to see what size I needed), came home and ordered them. They are pretty cool boots, and retail here in Christchurch for $799 so I was glad when I found them on the net (brand new) for approx $250NZD - bargain ay? see photo above for the boot. The rest of the day was pretty laid back, Emma and I went and say The Bourne Supremacy at Hoyts (loved the movie! one hell of a good trilogy, are there going to be any more?). Well that was pretty much my day, exciting! NOT.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tartare Tunnels

Since the afternoon turned out so nice we decided to go for a walk to the Tartare Tunnels at the end of Cowan street. It was a very easy walk up a 4WD track but very picturesque so it was nice. After 30mins or so we arrived at the outlet of the tunnel to find some peoples CD's, shoes, clothes etc sitting around 'weird!' anyway we gout out torch and head-torch out and set out down the tunnel. It was so dark in there it just at the light from the torch, making it very hard to see. After about a min of walking we met about 6 young teens walking the opposite way in bare feet or jandals (morons!!!!), they said they never made it to the end of the tunnel after 10mins of walking so I was not really looking forward to walking the tunnel if it was that long. However after only a few mins of walking we got to the end of the tunnel (it makes a big difference when you have proper boots on!), the end was pretty uneventful as it was gated off shortly after the end, so we took some pics and headed back. Some more photos, some scroggin and more photos was pretty much what the walk out consisted of. Nothing else to report on this we walk, however its a great walk and if you have an afternoon to spare go do it! (provided you are in Franz as its a long way to go from ChCh).