Brent & Claire

Category: Te Araroa Trail (Page 2 of 2)

23/12/21 Chch to Murchison – Embrace Adrenalin Rushes

We have all experienced it.

The adrenalin rush feeling.

Take the texting or checking your FB likes whilst driving (illegal here in NZ) and simultaneously scanning the road from left to right or ahead for the constabulary.  As much as not to go up the arse end of a stationery vehicle or parked car!  Adrenalin rush.

Or watching or listening to parliamentary and all the so-called experts dribble nowadays.  That too can be an adrenalin rush.

Or under the cover of darkness, dumping a cooked chicken dinner carcass or concrete patio off cuts into neighbouring yellow recycling bins without being spotted, caught or filmed.  That’s an adrenalin rush.

So was every neighbour receiving a letter from the Chch City Council about it being illegal to dump your rubbish into someone else’s.  Especially if it’s not recyclable.  Neighbour’s too obviously experienced adrenalin rush.

For us heading north towards the Richmond Ranges driving the third-bedroom, there was adrenalin pumping.  Both the excitement type.  And the apprehensive type.  The type described above.  But all that evaporated into the anticipation with an open mind type when we descended off the Lewis Pass elevation and rounded the bend at the Maruia Hot Springs facility on State Highway 7.

The road between there and the turn off into the Marble Hill picnic/camping area is predominantly canopied by native forest – it would have to be one of the loveliest stretches of tar seal we have encountered on the planet to drive.

It gives you a sense of belonging to something special.  A genuine adrenalin rush to be proud of what we have.  To enjoy.  Definitely look up if you get to experience it.  Keeping one eye on the road of course!

Getting out of the third-bedroom and not having applied the 80% deet insect repellent took the adrenalin to new heights too.  Little bastards can do that!

We had decided to break up the drive and spend a night in Murchison de-fragging from the lead up to the “ho ho ho” festive chaos and tramp.  Murchison has always been just a drive through pit-stop kind of town however, veering right after heading north and there is quite a bit of depth to the place.  Both historical and present-day atmosphere.  It’s now on the radar to come back for some staycation time.

The butchers shop window with a frontage sign that read “Home Kill Still Available” and a phone number had me inspired to giving them a call to discuss prices and if they do a deal for more than one person?  Ahem!

The camping ground we parked up was human contactless which didn’t help somewhat as we hadn’t booked, just rocked up.   Caused us some adrenalin Christmas Eve morning as we weren’t able to pay on-line, nor in person.  The messages we left on the phone and by text (not whilst driving I’ll add) informed the hosts that we would be back to settle the account.

In nine or ten days-time due to us going walk-about.

The last thing we needed was the security footage of us arriving and then leaving without paying to be on the television programme “Crime Watch” so as to soil our upstanding reputation in the neighbourhood.

Imagine that type of adrenalin rush!

Richmond Ranges Trail Preamble

It wasn’t so much that we had the desire and need to prove something to ourselves.

But more a desire to return to something we started back at the end of 2016 – walking the length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa Trail.

We made the decision to postpone the South Island section after completing the 1,600 kms North Island top to bottom.  At the time back then, we were a little jaded and needed a rest – remembering that it followed on from the tandem bike ride having cycled 7,500 kms from one side of Canada to the other.

Us completing the North Island Section of the Te Araroa Trail – 2016

That was then.  This is now.  A lot of chaos has transpired in-between since.  Procrastination and aging, as much as forced reclusiveness over the past couple of years.  Whereas all other life has kept going.

The investment in “the third bedroom” and subsequent escapes onto the backyard has certainly stimulated the reframe needed to get out there and enjoy what we have.  Getting back onto the trail included.  Bring this item on the “Before I Die” list to its conclusion.  Even if in sections.

However, the Richmond Ranges by all the stories shared by those who have done it before, is that it’s the toughest part of the TA Trail.  One must prepare for it as it’ll test you – are we good enough, tough enough, brave enough, smart enough?  How much could we take?  How do we measure up?

And it doesn’t discriminate.

And so, it was meant to be this festive Christmas 2021/New Year’s 2022.

But strewth, just getting the gear and food sorted for the nine days/eight nights was testing itself.

Only time would tell if we passed.

Or failed!

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