I am awake early and doing things in Cuzzie, if only the poor support crew were with me how tormented they would be! I was up and drinking coffee at 5.30am this morning, how mad, crazy and fun. What to with my day? It is actually raining heavily and Cuzzie is rocking around due to the wind, the sea is crashing into the campsite beach. I was planning to go hiking today on a DOC track or two, I was seriously hoping that the rivers would not be too flooded. I packed some food into a small back pack, grabbed my rain jacket, pulled on my warm woollen leggings and grabbed my camera. The tracks where only just across the road from my campground so off I ventured. It was still raining and I was going to get wet so I wrapped up warm, with a great wet weather jacket I actually do not mind the rain.
The tracks I set out on were Porari River to Bullock Creek then back along this track to Punakiki and then to the campgrounds, about five hours of walking. It was fun! I had a creek or a river with me most of the walk, the tracks were easy and well looked after. Even as the rain fell heavily on me I was enjoying my day, everything seems refreshed and greener when it is raining, well everything except me. I was looking bedraggled and very wet but still I was enjoying myself. Did I see anyone else? No hikers but I did come across DOC workers early on, clearing drains and debris off the track after the heavy rains and winds last night, I think I was enjoying myself way more than them.
As I tramped along these tracks I only have great things to say about being out and doing something. I thought about a conversation earlier this morning with a friend and how we always find time to train and exercise, the rain has never been a deterrent to me. Even when I was training before this trip I would paddle, run the streets and also the Waitakere bush tracks in heavy rain. We both decided that you can always find time to get out and do something exercise wise, there is never an excuse. I am what is described as crazy and I have discovered I am not made of sugar and do not melt in the rain!! I enjoy doing and not just talking about stuff.
I eventually made my way back towards the ocean over a swing bridge, past a couple of wekas and stopped to pat two very wet but friendly horses as well. They got bored quickly as I had nothing for them to eat. I then walked to the ocean by the Punakiki River mouth, the ocean was a foaming heaving mass of waves and the bad weather on the West Coast has not even begun. How glad I am that I am back and going to be able to see and feel this crazy weather while waiting on the calm after the storm, if it ever arrives. I even was happy today to again wander out along to the viewing platforms of the Punakiki rocks and today it was rather impressive with the seas pounding in on them. I stood and absorbed them for as long as I could. I was now getting cold standing about in the big winds so I walked briskly back to the campground, diverting a couple more times to look at caves and the beaches. Then I sorted out all of my damp clothes and sorted out Cuzzie as she hates this heavy rain. I think I have located her small roof leak, but lets just see if I am as good as I think! After a little while I wondered why I was getting a little grumpy, oh yes, food! I had forgotten to eat and it was near on 4pm! See what happens when the support crew leave me, I forget to force feed myself.
After a hot cup of Kawakawa tea, fresh hot popcorn and other bits from the fridge I was feeling better. Then a long hot show to warm me up after getting wet and rather muddy from the track. It is incredible, the day has flown by. It is dark outside now, the sea is thundering onto the beach, Cuzzie seems to be drier and no drips! I am looking around for more food, it is time to read, reflect, knit and organise my day tomorrow. I am far to scared to do any planning of further north as it seems at the moment I am to stay on this coast forever.
My smiles today:
Waking early and listening to the day wake.
Saying Happy Birthday to my brother.
Walking the DOC tracks and seeing no one. No NZ Great Walks for me, maybe my next challenge is to walk ALL of our smaller DOC tracks!
Peeling off my cold wet clothes and having an incredible hot shower after a day in the rain.
My thoughts today:
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain. ( I surely danced along the tracks today.)