Saturday, 25 July 2009

Back in the bush, back in New Zealand

Back in the bush again. Kahanui stream in the Urewera. Photo: Tania McKerrow.

Misty mountains, sunlit solitudes, beaches curving to infinity, meandering rivers, towering podocarp forests, Maori on horses and living in isolated communities, a small gas station at the entrance to the valley where the owner sells fuel, repairs cars, sells food, cooks fish and chips and repairs shoes, seemingly at the same time. The red-tipped dawns, the frosty mornings, singing streams, river crossings and scrambling up hills are just some of the meories I am taking away from the Waiotahi valley, river and beach where I have been exploring for the last six days. What made it so warm and was having my daughter and seven week old daughter Aliyah with me most of the time.

Early morning on the Waiotahi River. Photo: Bob McKerrow

Just over 8 months ago I had total knee replacements in both legs and since then I have been building up to walking 7 km and later 10 km a day. My trip in the Urewera region was an opportunity to see if my new knees would be able to take me up hills, along bush tracks and cross rivers again. I should have never doubted Ed Newman's skills. They carried me where ever I wished to go.

The Waiotahi valley is a remote Maori region inhabited by Tuhoe and Whakatoea, On Saturday afternoon when I was cycling from the road end down to where I am staying I saw at least ten children walking between farms. All were Maori. Two of guys who work at the centre, Barlow, Whakatoea and Richie, Tuhoe, run the farm and are storehouses of Maoritanga. Their main marae is at the entrance to the Waiotaha valley.

Tania told me how she stopped at a gas station near Opotiki a week ago and watched 10 Maori teenagers ride up on horses. Horse riding is in the blood here and most oi the hunting is done from horses as the dogs flush the pigs and deer from the ridges down in to the vallies where they are shot.
On Sunday I watched Ritchie and his relatives catching a runaway horse. Horses are their main form of transportation in the eastern foothills of the Urerewa.

During my six days in the hills and forests we went down tro Waiotahi Beach and neighbouring beaches and bays.

Ohiwa Harbour. Photo: Bob McKerrow




Bread, parcels or mail. Take your pick. Photo: Bob McKerrow


Ohiwa Harbour. Photo: Bob McKerrow

Whale island from Waiotahi beach. Photo: Bob McKerrow


That broad arc of the Bay of Plenty. Photo: Bob McKerrow


Tania pushing 7 week old Aliyah along Waiotahi beach



Monday 27 July


It is right in front of you, raw elemental landscapes. Welcome home.

I am leaving today for Christchurch via Whakatane and Auckland. We drove down the Waiotahi valley to the sea shore then past Ohiwa harbour, Ohope Beach, Ohope and to Whakatane for breakfast. Scrambled eggs and ham in a croissant. That coastline is superb. Flew from Whakatane, saw White Island, near Tauranga and saw Waiheke Island as we prepared for a landing in Auckland. “This is my land and I am firmly rooted in it,” wrote Albert Wendt. Today as we flew down the North Island, I felt I owned this country. Sprawling Auckland, Port Waikato and the Waikato river, Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngarahoe were plastered white and stood out proudly. Over a teal coloured Taranaki Bight, and then beneath Mount Taranaki.

All the ranges and ridges of the lower north island were covered with fresh snow. the Tararua. Ruahine, Orongaronga. The islands of Kapiti and Mana were visible.

Then it was home across the Cook Strait to Malborough and Canterbury. The Southern Alps were gleaming white.



From Godley Head looking across to Christchurch. Photo: Bob McKerrow

As soon as I unpacked my bags, my daughter Ruia took me to the hills and we walked down tg Godley Head.

11 comments:

pohanginapete said...

Welcome home, Bob. Glad you've had some great weather to enjoy getting out on the land. That Godley Head walk's lovely; when I visit Christchurch it's high on the list of things to do.

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Pete

What a joy to get out in those forest again. You are right, the Godley head walk is a cracker.

Bob

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Glad to see those knees carrying you back into the beautiful New Zealand mountains and bush. Also glad you got to fly over the Ruahine and see the snow covered peaks. In less than 48 hrs. I shall be hoisting my swag and getting amongst them for 5 days. Enjoy your time with family and Aotearoa my friend.
Cheers,
Robb

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Robb

So good to be back. Just leaving for lunch with Robin Judkins and a few of his mates SO IT WILL BE GOOD TO TALK SOUTH ISLAND MOUNTAINS AGAIN.

Yes, I loved seeing the Ruahine and Tararua yesterday. Robb, enjoy your trip into the Ruahine. My thoughts will be with you.

Bob

Jamie said...

Good on ya Bob, great to see you out there again. Go hard aye

Jamie

Bob McKerrow said...

Yeh Jamie, Its the plugging away that wins the day. Out at 7 am this morning walking the dog and got a splendid view of the alps when the sun rose. A wonderful world mate. Bob

Anonymous said...

Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this page.


Also visit my webpage ... graduate Certificate Programs online

oakleyses said...

tory burch outlet, polo ralph lauren, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, coach outlet, gucci handbags, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet online, nike shoes, longchamp outlet online, nike free, coach outlet store online, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, nike air max, true religion outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet online, red bottom shoes, prada outlet, coach purses, tiffany and co jewelry, ray ban outlet, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, oakley vault, kate spade handbags, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, true religion, michael kors outlet store, burberry outlet online, chanel handbags, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin

oakleyses said...

hermes pas cher, sac michael kors, timberland, lululemon, scarpe hogan, barbour, nike air max, nike roshe, true religion jeans, louis vuitton uk, tn pas cher, ray ban pas cher, longchamp pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, burberry pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, new balance pas cher, lacoste pas cher, north face, hollister, michael kors canada, air max, louis vuitton, vans pas cher, nike air max, ralph lauren pas cher, michael kors uk, nike free, oakley pas cher, nike roshe run, air max pas cher, air jordan, chaussure louboutin, hollister, converse pas cher, ralph lauren, true religion outlet, sac vanessa bruno, abercrombie and fitch, ray ban uk, north face pas cher, longchamp, nike free pas cher, nike air force, mulberry, guess pas cher, sac louis vuitton

oakleyses said...

lululemon outlet, nfl jerseys, babyliss pro, ugg, valentino shoes, mcm handbags, north face jackets, nike huarache, instyler ionic styler, nike trainers, canada goose outlet, ferragamo shoes, roshe run, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti, canada goose, chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes, ugg outlet, ugg soldes, canada goose outlet, herve leger, new balance outlet, birkin bag, wedding dresses, insanity workout, beats headphones, north face outlet, celine handbags, reebok shoes, vans outlet, rolex watches, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, uggs on sale, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs outlet, mont blanc pens, p90x workout, jimmy choo shoes, uggs outlet, ghd, bottega veneta, longchamp, asics shoes, ugg boots

oakleyses said...

wedding dress, iphone 6 case, converse shoes, moncler, pandora jewelry, hollister canada, parajumpers outlet, moncler, moncler, canada goose pas cher, moncler, oakley, moncler outlet, vans, coach outlet, pandora uk, canada goose, supra shoes, hollister clothing, ugg, uggs canada, ray ban, canada goose, lancel, pandora charms, moncler, juicy couture outlet, links of london uk, juicy couture outlet, gucci, ralph lauren, hollister, thomas sabo uk, louboutin, karen millen, moncler, montre femme, swarovski jewelry, toms outlet, replica watches, air max, converse, nike air max, canada goose uk, timberland shoes, baseball bats, louis vuitton canada, swarovski uk