Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Two intrepid walkers - day two

A long post so you might want to make a hot drink,
 or a cool one, and settle in for a while.

setting out 
On day two of our walk we had a plan!
We would begin at the other end 
and come back to where we were going to start.
Clear as mud?
We had talked over where we would be going and decided 
that we would begin where we would have finished if 
we started from where we finished the day before.
Oh dear, I think I'll stop there before it gets too confused :)
(I think it's the Irish coming out in me).

Hyde railway station
We headed up the road to Hyde and duly set out
walking back towards Middlemarch - after a comfort stop.
 We figured that doing it this way we would be walking downhill. In reality the walk from Middlemarch to Hyde
 only rises 100 metres, so not a huge climb over 28 k's.

derelict wagon filled with old wood, this was the worst one.
We weren't sure where the first passport stamping station was
 so we called in to the local cafe where there just happened to be a full complement of the various stamps. Once we were stamped the walk proper was on. The first corner we went around brought us to the Hyde railway station, no longer in use of course and now privately owned, with a few derelict wagons on sidings. 
And a hundred yards further down the trail was the stamping booth!

We hadn't gone too far when we decided that perhaps we were walking too fast and should go at a slightly more leisurely
 pace than yesterday so that we didn't get so tired. So we slowed down a little. We looked at more stuff. And stopped more often.
There were a lot more cyclists about today so we had to give way to them as well. And as most of them were travelling in the same direction as us it was quite interesting and reminded me of when we were in Japan and cyclists are just considered to be pedestrians on wheels. They used the footpaths and you were always checking behind for them, they did have bells. It's surprising how quickly you adapt though. And so we adapted on the trail.

We came across these cows relaxing before the heat
 of the day set in. These ones were chewing their cuds...

...but this lady was on a mission.
Can you see her in amongst the bushes?
When we first saw her she had her front legs up in the tree
 but had settled for this by the time we got the camera out.
She had climbed up on a rock to get at the delicacy she was after.
Well, what was it, you may ask?

gathering apples
She was after apples. All along this section of the trail was lined with apple and pear trees. There were bushes covered in clusters of red berries as well but we couldn't identify them and they were too far away to see them properly. Not handy like the trees. 

gathering pears
The trees have grown from the cores of the fruit thrown 
out of the train windows by passengers as it was travelling from Cromwell to Dunedin. So some of them must be getting on 
for one hundred years old. We gathered some fruit and put it
 in our bags to bring home, this did not lighten our load 
as we were walking :) But they were really sweet when 
I cooked them up once we got home. Compensation.
There were also a lot of different flowers growing and
 we wondered whether they had been part of some ladies
 gardens as they weren't wild flowers.

We only had one other stamp to get on this part
 of the trip and that was at the Rock and Pillars hut.
We took photos of each other here as well but they are so 
inelegant they are only for private viewing, haha.
We were pooped for some reason. We had some
 refreshments and got on the trail again. Didn't let our
 feet dangle this time either, we learnt that lesson.

looking towards the Taieri Range
The countryside is very dry and we came across 
this reservoir which feeds down to one of the 
farms and is probably part of an irrigation system. After we
 had been walking a few hours we looked up and 
Sis said 'that looks like your car over there'.
And I replied 'and that looks like my bloke over there as well'.

my GKB taking a video of us
He had brought the car back and was waiting for us with a 
full thermos and the tea and coffee. He was very good to us.
We had arrived at the Hyde Railway disaster memorial and we stopped to have a look and a bite of lunch.

There is a picnic table over the stile and behind the trees. 
The cairn is the memorial to the 21 people who died in 
the train crash in June 1943. The train would have been packed as it was on it's way to the Dunedin Show. We had walked through the
 cutting where it had happened about 100 metres or so further back.
stone plaque

The problem with stopping for half an hour, sitting with your feet up and just generally relaxing is that you don't want to start again. Oh dear. So we didn't. We had walked for three hours, only covered half the distance we intended but as the sun was getting very high in the sky decided to call it a day. We have a 6 km section to finish off and will do that next time. Maybe.

Then again we might just start here, which is the bridge over the river from Hyde and takes us  in the opposite direction to what we had been going, towards Clyde, which is the final destination. 
We didn't think we had done too badly, we walked 21 kms altogether and that is a half marathon!
We didn't have ice creams today, we all went back to the
 camp and fell asleep on our beds instead :)

Sis is coming back in May to do some more walking, 
I'm not sure about that as it will be winter, we'll see.
joining Amy at:

Have a good week,
I'll see you again soon.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Resurrection Sunday

                                  Image result for religious Easter pictures 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Out in the paddocks

Driving home through the centre of the island earlier in the week these are some of the things we saw out in the paddocks.

A deer farm, blurred because we were on the move.

Cows, beef I think (not dairy). Again blurred
 a little because we were still on the move.

Sheep, naturally :)

Honey Bees.

Free range chooks.

We also passed free range pigs but I never managed to 

get  a shot of them as I didn't have my camera ready

 and we were on the move, just at the beginning

 of our journey. I don't like to ask my GKB

 to stop on the highway.

joining Stephanie at:
roses of inspiration 

Short posts this week as we are just back
from holiday and I am still in holiday mode.
Keep well, enjoy yourselves whatever you are doing
and I'll see you next week.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

I've finished book #2.

I have finally finished book number two 
in the reading challenge I am doing.
Out of Africa by Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen).

I have to admit I found it a hard one 
to get into, partly I think, because language
 has changed so much over the course
 of the last 80 to 100 years, and the use of 
words and their meanings have also changed 
just a little. Still the story was interesting 
and the more I read the more I enjoyed it. 

Now I have a third book on the go which I was reading 
at the same time as this one, and hope to have
 it finished before the end of March to keep me up
 with my set task of reading a book a month.
This is the one which took me 20 years 
to finish the first chapter, so wish me well!

For April I think I will pick 
something light and trite :)

Have a great day,

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Two intrepid walkers - day one.

As you know my middle sister has been over from Australia, visiting. One of the reasons is that for quite some time we have been planning to walk the Otago Central Rail TrailWell we have finally begun our journey. Of course there is nothing to be fearful of on the trail, except maybe our legs not wanting to keep going :)

On Tuesday 1st March we picked Sis up at 8:15am 
and headed up to Middlemarch where the trail ends/begins.
A quick comfort stop and were on our way by 9:15am.

This was the view as we started out.
The Rock and Pillar range on the left and the 
Taieri Range on the right. And lots of farm land.
As we walked Sis told me about the trip 
she had had on the Trans Siberian Railway and this
filled in quite a bit of our time as we walked.
We didn't notice the time passing. 

We did notice quite a few of these heading
 in the direction we had just come from. Or the end for them :)
Everyone called out greetings and were very friendly.
And yes, looking forward from the start,or looking back
 from where we were it seemed an awful long way to the corner.

But it was a coming up. Just above the gate in the right of this 
photo is a bend in the trail.And when we turned the corner  
we came across the first hut and stamping post. Ngapuna. 
The huts were built after the style of shepherds huts to provide shelter for such intrepid walkers and cyclists as ourselves. 

Oh, were we pleased to see it. Inside we went, bags down,
 drinks out, snacks out and some of that winter gear
 taken off and packed in the backpacks. Yes when we started out it was rather cool but after an hour of fairly solid walking we were feeling quite warm, and the temperature had risen slightly.
And just in case you are interested, that long straight walk was seven kilometres and we had covered it in an hour!

How do we know this? All the information is in the huts,
 along with maps and details of the area you are walking in.
Needless to say, the next part of the walk was slightly slower
but we did the walk in good time for a couple of older gals.

 The next section was also a bit more scenic 
with some interesting sights.Can you see 
the rabbit in the picture above? It hopped slowly
 along the fence line and took very little notice of us.
Then it took off into the gorse.

On one side of the trail was dairy and sheep farming.
This is two paddocks, the cows are in a paddock behind.

Then a bit further up the track were these three old 
girls keeping out of the midday sun.They just looked
 at us and kept on chewing, probably thinking
 "mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun".

Four k's more of walking and we were at Moynihan's Hut, 
a very welcome sight. We stopped here for a few minutes 
as well. The huts are very basic, corrugated iron 
and a wooden form inside to sit on. And we took the 
opportunity to sit each time, but made the mistake
 of letting our feet just dangle. Big mistake at this point
 as they didn't take too kindly to hitting the trail again.

Three hours and 14 k's after we set out we reached our destination. 
We were met at the Rock and Pillar Station by my GKB with
 the car and, another flask of hot water. For  a hot cuppa. He was such a lovely patient support person, he drove us back to camp
 and then took us to the shop to get ice creams :)

Originally we had intended to walk to Hyde which was 28 k's in all, but were so pleased to see our great supporter with the car we decided to stop. It was all a learning curve and set us up for a more relaxed walked the next day and more realistic expectations.
But I'll tell you about that another day. Thank you if you have stayed the distance -  I really should have warned you to make a pot of tea before you started reading.

joining Amy at:

That's it for this week.
I'll see you here next time. 
Keep well.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Small town sights

I have recently been in the Strath Taieri area 
walking part of the Otago Rail Trail.
Below are some photo's we took in Middlemarch, 
the little town we stayed in

A sculpture made from bolts from old railway sleepers.

Around the corner another one, a moa, 
made from old horseshoes. Moas were a 
large bird, native to New Zealand, now extinct.

Two 'older' people with a bicycle made for two :)

Young Clydesdale's.

And because you either end or begin 
your journey at Middlemarch here is the
 starting/ending point to the rail trail.

joining Amy for:
Five on Friday

Have a great week,