Having booked the dolphins on Saturday, after explaining my trip in the South Island, I asked the girl at the hostel’s reception how to kill a couple of days around Picton. After finding out I wasn’t going to do the Queen Charlotte Track in Malborough Sounds she said ‘Come running with me if you want, you’ll get to a place you wouldn’t normally.’ I looked a the map…..’it might be quite steep’. Just what I need I though – a good blow out of the fitness cobwebs, knowing that I could revert to walking, and even turn back to the car and read a book.
We got the park at the Mount Richmond Forest Park just as a Dept. Of Conservation guy was closing it due to the fire hazard, and for a logging company that wasn’t there yet. Luckily he said we ‘must have turned up before (he) arrived’. Nice. We then left him to work out how to put CLOSED up on a sign that was never intended to change from OPEN.
We started up the Timms Creek track to Mount Fell, and I didn’t end up turning back to the car. I kept going. When we got off the initial track, a brick wall of forest hit us, extremely limiting any chance to jog, never mind run. Let’s just say it was frickin’ steep! Hey, so what…last time I tried to run along the beach in Dunsborough I lasted ten minutes before taking in the scenery. Today I lasted about 85 minutes. We went to the oh bollocks I’ve forgotten the name of the park…but we went up to Mount Fell Hut, and it took ages to get there. We thought it would take 4hrs return, but we got there after 3hours. I then carried up towards the summit, despite feeling a bit pooped to say the least. My knees were starting to hurt.
We left to get back down (6 hours according to the notice – but not for us) knowing what lay ahead, and the pain my knees would go through. Needless to say there wasn’t much running, and when I tried I either looked like I was sh!tting myself at the same time, or like the people in mile 25 of a marathon.
But I made it. There were amazing crystal clear blue pools in the river at the bottom, but I headed back to hit the hot tub at the chalet…..I was so glad I had a motivator to get me out, despite most of the walk/run/jog being on my own. I resorted to the MP3 player on the way down, and a magic tube of Mentos sweets – they did the trick in Borneo in times of need. Just that I finished the whole pack. I then blasted along the gravel track in a way I wouldn’t have done in my car at home.
The day was so like Scottish scenery, just we never got a view until near the top as it is such dense forest here. After driving back through NZ wine country I decided tonight was to be spent in the hot tub after dinner, bottle of red, and cheese and biscuits. Pictures to follow when I get my laptop connected. Great day.
But my knees still hurt.
Long lie tomorrow, then a slow drive down along the east coast to Kaikoura.