Friday, February 22, 2008

February 18, 2008 - Nelson Lakes

On Monday morning, we took a walk in the hills above Nelson in the Grampians Reserve. Looking at the map below, of which we didn't have a copy with us, we planned to do a nice short hike up the steep section in the upper left corner and pick up the blue trail around lookout walk and finish with a bit of the red. It didn't go exactly as planned.
We wound up doing the entire yellow loop, a few minutes on the blue trail, a longer section of the red, a "short cut" through a sheep pasture that somehow brought us back to the yellow and out into a neighborhood. Here we were, in what was essentially a city park, lost among the trees. This, my friends, is why we aren't going to attempt any real tramps any time soon.

Thoughout the hike we had a wonderful soundtrack of cicadas chirping in the background. On our descent I noticed the exoskelleton of one of them on a tree. Then we started noticing them everywhere. It must be molting season.

After the hike, while Sten went off to stock us up on groceries for the next few days, I checked myself into a spa for a massage and facial - something I've been wanting to do since I finished sanding the bottom of the boat; actually, since I started sanding the bottom. Afterwards, we hit the road for a quick drive south to the Nelson Lakes region.

Our lodging for the next few nights is an old railway car in the Gowan River Holiday Camp. The Gowan is the fastest flowing river in New Zealand and supposedly a pretty good spot to hook a brown trout. The waters of the Gowan come from the mountains above Lake Rotorua and join up with the Buller River before flowing out into the Tasmn Sea.

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