Sunday, November 06, 2005
Foiled by a Paradise Shelduck and other adventures
Was up at 6am this morning so I could get a nice early head start to the day and get out to the Ruahines at a decent hour. I babysat the cats outside til 7am then had neice under foot til I finally escaped at 8.15am. Got to the forest and was going to go to Gold Creek Hut, and me being me did not fully read the instructions so headed up the Makaroro River to try and find where the creek went off to the right. Wandered around for 45 minutes and crossed the river at least 3 times til I gave up. I haven't done any river crossings for a long time so I am now quite confident in knee deep, fast moving, strong currents. So then I headed back to my car to leave a note to say that I was going to do the Yeoman's Track instead (what I had agreed with my folks that I would do if I couldnt find the right one). So off I headed til I realised I didnt know where that track was 100% either, so I finally got out my wee DoC map to check I was headed in the right direction, and when I read it properly it told me 'yes you are in the right direction, and if you had gone this way to begin with you would have easily found the track to Gold Creek Hut *sigh*. So anyway I continued on to Yeoman's Track, as thats where the note in my car said I was headed and I couldnt be bothered going back to change it AGAIN. I got down this track around 10 minutes when a Paradise Shelduck with a 'damaged wing' began running along in front of me. So I figured it was faking injury to get me away from the nest. 15 minutes later its still in front of me, tripping up over sticks and debris on the track so I thought, shit maybe it does have a broken wing, at which point I figured that I couldn't chase the thing for the next 1.5 hours so, with a big sigh, I returned to the riverbed and ate my lunch before coming home. Does the story end there??? NO!!! I get to my car, unlocked it and hmmmm, that was weird the central locking didnt work. So I changed out of my wet boots and hopped in the drivers seat and 'CRAP', totally dead!!! No cell phone reception either so I then hiked up the road about 1.5-2kms and knocked on the farmers door and he kindly came down and jump started my car so I could get home. He at least got a laugh when I told him about the Paradise Shelduck, who, he informed me, was only faking, including the tripping over stuff bit. So I got to leave the area at least knowing how to head off on two decent length tramps for next time (and feeling like a bit of a retard at the same time). Mum, Dad and my sister found the whole story hysterical and who knows whether they will let me tramp alone again. So this is why I carry a first aid kit, emergency sleeping bag, compass, whistle and torch on each and every tramp!!! Oh, and I took a roll of film so hopefully they come out ok.