We met up at Platform 9 for the usual last minute tramping requirements, and introductions to members of our party and the MF group. We had a comfortable trip out to Masterton along with an exciting, extended adventure in Chinatown. Chinatown is found in Greytown, where it takes 40 minutes on a Friday night to get your dinner. The MF were understandably itchy to get going, so the Transit left town with smoke pouring off the wheels.
We were a pretty interesting crowd including the quintessential salesman and Abed the quirky film student. We kept each other entertained through a night of spooky sounds at the campsite. Kiriwhakapapa is a beautiful campsite, a great spot to overnight on the Friday, with plenty of room and a good shelter should the weather turn.
While we were the ‘easy’ group I think a more apt name would have been the ‘take it easy’ group. The climb to the hut was hardly tough or gruelling. In fact it was a fairly leisurely hike up to the hut on a pretty steamy afternoon. We were mindful of the long dry spell that still had no sign of ending, so carried our maximum capacity of water to the hut, just in case.
Of course, on arrival, we discovered the water tank was full. We settled down to a chilled afternoon of chatting, and eating our supplies. A very necessary activity to lighten the load for the next day! We met some interesting people through the afternoon, especially the classic Southern Man (albeit hailing from Masterton) and his adorable and championship winning dog Coke.
We were entertained at supper by some choice house anthems that a couple of teenagers thoughtfully played for us while we ate what we could of the pesto pasta feast and delicious brownies (supplied by our tramp leader, or rather his kids), with not-so-amazing-but-still-very-good-for-tramping custard. Note to self – take heed of Aunty Rata’s custard making instructions.
We had the luxury of not having to hurry out on the Sunday, so we made a very leisurely pace through breakfast and packing. I do recall leaving some time just before midday. The oft heard phrase of “this is unreal” again reverberated through the forest, as we were struck with the beauty of the place.
A perfect weekend of nature, relaxing, good food and excellent company.