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.