Friday, November 1, 2013

Late postings.....

Well its Wednesday and I am only now sitting down to post about the past weekend. I've just had a wonderful meal of pumpkin soup (home made) with some bacon and mushrooms sautéed in a bit of butter and added at the end of the cooking. Lovely!
Anyway back to the weekend.....
Started on Wednesday with an appointment to deliver a budgeting seminar inside Springhill Correctional Facility was postponed as the tutor didn't get my paperwork done in time and so he asked if I could come on Thursday instead. I got this call about 5 minutes after leaving Huntly heading towards the prison!  Unfortunately I had bookings all afternoon on Thursday so had to tell him that I could not do it. Also had a viewing of the house I am selling in Tuakau who wanted to see the house on Friday at lunchtime. So had organised to start the weekend Friday afternoon. Heading to Dicky Flat in the Karangahaki Gorge.
So Thursday morning the first of my appointments postponed due to family situation and then the second appointment rang to say she was sick and could we postpone! So then I rang the tutor at Springhill and asked if I could still come."Yes please!" cam e the reply and so I quickly packed up the bus and headed north to Springhill where I had a great session with a bunch of guys who were very appreciative of the seminar that I delivered around Needs and Wants and a bit of goal setting.
From there I decided to head up to Mercer and spend the night beside the river there across the road from the Muddy Waters pub.
I had just had my dinner and was settling down to read a book and the phone rang cancelling the house viewing! I actually had to stop myself going 'Grrrrr' down the phone a this woman!
So on the phone to Walton to say I was heading over and we could head off Friday morning.
So headed off to Walton to start the weekend.
Friday morning we started packing up and getting organised (or rather Brenda and Roger did), one of the interesting things about living full time in the bus, everything is already there!
So we headed off towards Paeroa, with a quick stop off for a trip to the Te Aroha dump station.
When we turned off towards Dicky Flat there was a beautiful waterfall off to the right and Brenda had said that we needed to stop to take photographs of the waterfall.  The road to Dickie Flat was narrow and winding and metal.  It was a slow journey for me in the bus.
On arrival we found the camp site had a few people in it so it seemed to be a busy weekend.
After setting up a our respective vehicles we headed off down the track carrying our  lunch with us.
Brenda and Roger as we left Dicky Flat

There were numerous bridges on the way but the most amazing thing was the mine tunnel that we had to traverse to complete our walk.





On the journey we came across an interesting part of the trail, a hole in the rock into which the trail led. We ducked our heads and entered into a 180m tunnel, hand hewn out of the rock and a wonderfully dark journey of about 4 minutes.
The light at the end of the tunnel
The floor of the tunnel was quite uneven and you definitely need a torch. There were wet spots and dry spots and when the drips hit the back of the neck it was very, very cold!
On the other side of this tunnel we stopped to have a look at the amazing water course that had been hewn out of the rock.
A wonderful example of what man can do

The waterway, rapids and river

A wonderful wander through some beautiful NZ bush following the river downstream and we came across a set of stairs leading up to the Windows Walk.
Windows Walk stairs
After climbing up to the stairs we entered another mine shaft and this was much taller and wider with branches off both sides of the tunnel. Off to the right there were tunnels that headed off under the mountain and after exploring one that seemed to go on forever we took one to the other side.
This was at the end of the shaft, luckily it was all fenced in!

View from the Windows Walk

View from the Windows Walkway
An amazing view from the face of the gorge and there were about 5 or 6 of these windows that opened out onto some amazing views along the river. They open up on the face of the cliff.

This is a shot from one of the windows. The flash has picked up the sides of the window.


One of the great things about this walk is following the river, crossing it often on a variety of bridges and viewing all sorts of mine ruins and historic places.



On arrival at Karangahaki itself, we then headed back up the other side of the river. This side is completely different and the track is often carved out of the cliff face.



We entered another mine shaft (more stairs) to find an amazing cavern where there was a hydro power station deep within the mountain.


From there back across the river and off back to Dicky Flat, where it was filling up fast!

It's now Saturday so I am slack as this week. More to come.....