Thursday, March 29, 2012

Funny The Way The Mind Works

Have you ever seen a man of almost 72 years old falling down a mountainside? Well, you missed your chance this morning. We are in Hanmer Springs, having crossed back from the West Coast on Monday. This morning we toiled up the quite strenuous Waterfall Walk, which takes getting on for 3 hours there and back (or 4, or 5, depending upon who you are). The walk culminates in the view above, at about 800 metres above sea level.

We did this same walk on Tuesday morning, and have done it often enough before. For a couple of years, the alternate route back, which climbs again to 800 metres, with views like those pictured next, has been closed because of logging operations. On Tuesday we noticed the signs prohibiting access to the alternate return had been removed, so this morning we thought we would try it.

The track was a little overgrown in parts, and could do with a good machete-ing. It was on the descent that things became a bit tricky. That is, when we hit the area where the logging had taken place. The track became very rudimentary and, to be frank, downright dangerous. This picture of Gay is taken just before it turned really bad.

After that point we needed all hands, arms and legs so the cameras were put away as we tried to negotiate what had become very loose broken stone, sometimes combined with almost vertical drops. it was dangerous. I managed to find a stick which was some help but at one point I completely lost my footing and went rolling down the track. Fortunately, we were not too far from the bottom at that point and I didn't go too far, and I wasn't too damaged - a few scrapes and abrasions, and a lot of dust.

But as I lay on my back like an upturned tortoise, the thought that came into my head was that if our friend John Dwyer had a similar mishap we could give him a new nickname - "Tumble Dwyer". Now why was I thinking such nonsense instead of checking whether I had broken anything?

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