This ‘flat’ valley walk on the map turned out not to be the breeze we were expecting! Tussocks of alpine grass create thick hard clumps separated by gaps and drops of indeterminate depth, cunningly masked with sprays of grass strands. It’s a bit of a lottery when you step off one as to what might or might not be lurking underneath. Consequently there’s a lot of precarious balancing on tufts going on, and numerous slippages. The end result being something of a Frankenstein stride punctuated with squeaks, and swear words, and me disappearing from view occasionally down holes. The general experience evoking visions of those traps you see in movies where there’s a pit full spikes covered in twigs and leaves ;)
As it’s a day trip I get to experience the day sans-pack! It’s very weird at first when you balance on things and there’s not the usual counter balance behind you. You feel strangely naked without your pack-buddy in a way. But you soon forget your plastic compadre. ‘No-packing’ is excellent for making swift progress!
Last night Landey and DM tought me the tricky art of turning flax leaves into woven string. Two separate techniques. Tonight I was hoping to have a go at practicing the braiding and twisting ones – Level One and Two of Maori flax weaving. Level Three involved braiding four strands together. Technical stuff! And well fiddley by head torch after dark. Luckily the boys had got to spend lots of time with the ladies at Tieke Marae on the Wanganui river, as there was a flood on. And now they were furnished with some super desert island skills, and also packing the ever engrossing SAS Handbook! An awesome evenings Bush Craft learning lay ahead :) Next step, hammock weaving!