Mountain B-Walking to Hot Hot Pools

At last! The Project Management course finished with it was time to make the most of the long weekend. The weather for the weekend had been looking dire earlier in the week (gale force winds & rain).. but by Friday evening things had improved. Mostly.

So headed up on Saturday evening with Stephen and Volker – two friends from the tramping club. The plan was to bike in to some hot pools on the Hope River (up in Lewis pass). The rivers on the way up were *huge*.. but fortunately they come up and go down very quickly in NZ – so by the time we started the next day they weren’t going to be a problem. Or not too much. Rivers are one of (if not the) biggest killers in the NZ outdoors.

Next two pictures of Volker..

Now, the title of this post was mountain b-walking… as to be honest the first 3 hours or so was more walking than biking. Zoom for 20m, then off to move over some fallen trees!

On the other side of the river is farm land – with a 4wd track.. we kinda took that on the way back (which we shouldn’t have really.. but anyway)

After about 6 or 7 hours we finally made it to our hut for the night. Lovely old place though no fireplace as DOC had taken it out a few months ago (dangerous) The log book in the hut is full of instructions on how to find the hot pools..

It was completely worth the trip though! While the hot pools were a little scungy (black squishy stuff to sit on though – quite comfortable!) they were super hot – and we had the place to ourselves.

It took a little while to relax into them after Steve had reminded us that the reason the hot pools are here is because of the trans-alpine fault line. There are tree-records of all the trees getting flattened ever 250 years or so. It has been over 300 or something since the last major earthquake. We’re expecting a magnitude 9. So if I live here I will get to experience it (though may well be the last thing I do!). Apparently it needs to move about 8m left and 2m up!. Dear oh dear. Still, makes for excellent hot pools.

Woke up incredibly stiff and sore! My back loosened up over the course of the day though.. really wish it was feeling better! Had hoped by now it would be.. but sure we’ll see. Have started in a gym doing strengthening exercises with my physio Kelly (who is off to compete in the world ultimate Frisbee championships in Perth in a few months time!).. so we’ll see.

That pic of me crossing back over the swing bridges. Those things are fun at the best of time – even more so when you have to keep both hands on the bike!

Other exciting news.. My friend Laura arrives for 3 weeks of travel around the S.Island in a months time and I just got a mail from my friend Marcel who is coming (back to NZ) for a holiday for 3 weeks starting the end of January. He’s a great guy and I am looking forward to getting out on a few trips with him.

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