Tora Coastal Walk - day 1

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
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Trip End Mar 21, 2008


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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Today we are off, over the Rimutaka mountains to the Wairarapa region for our next adventure. The Wairarapa occupies the southeast portion of the North Island and is mainly farmland with a few vineyards as well. Our destination is the Tora Coast, in a remote corner of the region, where we will be hiking (or 'tramping' as it is known here) for three days over private farmland with a reputation for stunning scenery.

The eager anticipation that we have built up for this, based on some amazing photographs on the internet, wanes temporarily as the car curls through the steep Rimutaka range, leaving my stomach a corner behind at each hairpin turn.

Once through the mountains, we pass the small town of Martinborough and veer off into some genuinely rural country. In time, even the paved road gives way to gravel and the signs of civilization grow fewer and further apart. For the first, pre-walk, night we are staying in a cottage known as The Outstation, near the road but in a secluded and rustic spot. It is an old wooden cabin with room for around 12 trampers but the four of us have it to ourselves. There is a wood-burning stove in the main room and the bedrooms have signs on them like 'Cooks' and 'Shepherds'. Outside is a back paddock, at the end of which is a golf 'driving range'. This entails are load of golf clubs and an empty beer bottle hanging from a tree, a couple dozen golf balls and an empty beer bottle lying on the ground, and a golf tee mat. The idea is to hit the balls down off the cliff, across the riverbed below and into the neighbouring paddock. It looks achievable but I have no idea how they get the balls back again.

Kiri, the lady who runs this leg of the operation, drops by to explain the directions to us and answer any questions. She is very nice but one gets the feeling that she misses human interaction, living way out here, as she is very keen to talk and talk. Dinner has been pre-cooked for us by Kiri, so it just needs a bit of heating up and we tuck into the delicious country fare.

On a different note, we are now into the month of November or, as it is known to many Antipodeans, Mo-vember. This is the month in which many Kiwi and Aussie blokes grow moustaches in support of prostate cancer research.. This worthwhile and potentially humorous event has been going since 1999 but this is the first time that I am going to join in the 'hirsute pursuit' - watch this space.
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Outstation Cottage

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