Posted by: Talie Morrison | February 9, 2009

Arthur’s Pass

img_1993Hey – what’s that Kea doing on top of Yanqui Girl!    🙂 

 

One of the lovely things about the South Island of New Zealand is that you are never very far from mountains or sea side.   I left the Kaikoura Coast and in a couple of hours of driving I was up in the high mountains of Arthur’s Pass.  I love it!    I only had a couple of days before I wanted to be back in Christchurch (to see some of my friends who were heading back to McMurdo for the winter!), so I put together a 3 night trip up the Waimakariri River Valley.

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   The first “leg” was up the valley to the Carrington Hut.   It always seems to me that the shortest (sometimes “fastest”) way up a river valley is to go straight up the valley crossing the stream as it meanders and braids itself in the flats.   I guess I stopped counting the river crossings after about 10 or 11 crossings.   It always seems to me that part of hiking in New Zealand is the fact of wet boots.   There are almost always stream crossings and not always foot bridges across them – so I just plow on through.   

 

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   None of the stream crossings were deeper than my knees…

 

 

The Carrington Hut is a lovely hut with enough bunks for about 36 people.  

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There were only 4 of us in it for that night though: a young man from the Chez Republic, 2 young men from New Zealand, and me.   It is always fun to be in huts with other people and share stories and route information.   The next morning it was a bit rainy, so I decided to stay put and taught TaTa (the Chez) to play Farkle and he taught me a new card game. 

img_2025In the afternoon, it had stopped raining, so I day-hiked a couple of hours up to the beautiful Kilmarnock Waterfall

  I’m taking a bit more “stuff” on these day hikes now after my Tasmanian adventure!   

 

 

 

 

 

 The next day, I did another (full day) day-hike up the rest of the Waimakariri Valley -not quite so many stream crossings this time – but a couple for sure!  It was a day of wonderful blue skies and lots of waterfalls!  

img_2063I saw a couple of Blue Ducks – which are becoming hard to find in New Zealand.   This pair whistled and posed for me – thanks guys!  🙂  

 

 

 

 

 

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I hiked up to the Waimakariri Falls Hut – a cute little alpine hut tucked in a spectacular alpine area.    

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    The final day I gathered up all my gear and walked down the valley again (still lost count of the number of stream crossings :-).    There was rain coming in again, but I got to Yanqui before it started.   And by the end of the day, I was back at Myles and Margaret’s in Christchurch.   

      I enjoyed seeing so many of my winter-over friends who are heading out to the ice today.  Muppet came down from Wellington for the same reason and we spent Sunday with Bethany and Liz.  We wandered around Christchurch – helped with last minute shopping – went to the beach and walked on the sand and water – and let Bethany and Liz decide what they wanted for their “last supper” before leaving to go back onto the ice!  

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 I went out to the airport this morning, at 7 am, to have breakfast with them and gave them hugs and well wishes as they headed to the big airplane!   A little part of me wishes I were heading down with them (but the rest of me is happy to be staying in New Zealand! 🙂 )

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