Trying to work out the difference between walking and hiking…
It’s something that’s come up a lot since we left home – what’s the difference between walking and hiking? We had no idea in all honesty, but really wanted to find out.
Day 172 – Friday 11th November 2016
Our hosts suggested loads for us to do today, but we decided as a group that we wanted to do some adventuring. We walked for 7km before reaching our first stop of the day, a clearing called Adams Flat. Named after John Adams, an Irish goldminer who died in his hut back in 1882, the area is a common place for explorers to stop and rest, where there also stands replica goldminers’ hut. It was a pleasant but rather eerie place for us to have lunch:
We planned on eating on the grass because it was a bit dark and spooky inside, but quickly changed our mind when it started to rain on us. We started a fire to light the place up and keep us warm, then stayed for a while until the weather started to hold back a bit. As soon as it slowed down we made a break for it and carried on through the bush:
Although the rain did stop for a while, it wasn’t long before it started pouring again, about one hour into our two hour walk to Fenian Caves. It was at that point, with no clear path, absolutely soaked, covered in mud and rather fed up of the day altogether, that I started to think we could maybe claim to be hikers not just walkers.
It took a while, but in the end we reached the caves, which were pitch black, worryingly slippery, very claustrophobic and absolutely fascinating:
Oh and we stopped for a silly selfie before heading back to the car too:
We didn’t get back to the cottage until nearly 21:00 so went straight to bed after showering, and even forgot about dinner. We had a great day though, and that’s all that matters really.
Day 173 – Saturday 12th November 2016
We woke up early this morning to make sure that we had enough time to visit the local farmers market before it closed around midday. Fully aware of the fact we were staying in a tiny little town with a population of less than 450 we weren’t expecting much, but still found ourselves lost for words when we arrived and saw just four stalls in the hall. It was literally the smallest market I’ve ever seen! It didn’t even take five minutes to walk in, stop and chat to everybody in the room, check out everything on sale and then walk out again. It also felt a bit like we met every single person who lives in Karmea too.
We went exploring again in the afternoon, this time Kahurangi National Park. It was quite the opposite to yesterday given that we had to drive for about an hour and then walk for no longer than fifteen minutes, but was nice to give ourselves a bit of a break. We stoped at loads of caves which were all pretty cool but I’d say the highlight of our day was definitely the Oparara Basin – a thirty five million year old limestone cave. I have a photograph but the Wi-Fi isn’t good enough to get it uploaded, so I’ll either do that another time, or just forget.
In the evening we played some cards, drank some beer, and watched some old videos on the VHS player – which I didn’t even know existed anymore! It was our last full day with all of the others, and we definitely made the most of it. I guess it’s the beginning of the end tomorrow!