Motatapu track (Days 73 – 75)

“Challenging
For experienced trampers
Day one is the easiest
Day two is more arduous and challenging
Day three with its long sidling sections along steep mountainsides
Requires care and concentration”
Say the track notes
This section started with some trepidation..

When the wind picks up with gale force gusts on day one
I remember Little Rintoul
And walk, sometimes shuffle
Leaning into the mountainside
On my bit of track
No wider than my two feet
Holding on to rock or tussock
In fear of rolling down the slope

Rescue remedy does wonders
Once again
I can walk on the track
Like I would if it did not have
A precipice on my right
And stop to stand in awe
Of the environment
Once more

Saddle reached
We see what the notes mean by
Steep descent

With a tight stomach
once again,
I don warmer gear
So the cold won’t be
A distraction

Trying to put off
The moment
There is only one way onwards
And down we go

Relief:
The ground underfoot
Is not as slippery
Nor the gradient as steep
As anticipated
My step more confident
And skilled

This is simply more
Of what I have completed
Successfully
Before

I can do this..

With the hut in sight,
The last steep downhill
To be negotiated,
I see an easier way
And stumble
Over my pole
That gets stuck
In a bush.

The smack onto the stoney ground
Is accentuated by
The heavy pack on my back

The cold water of the stream below
A welcome relief
For a swiftly swelling shin

Thankfully the knee is fine
The walk on day two
Approached
With relative confidence
Once we’ve waited
For the rain
And clouds
To clear

Any pain soon forgotten
In an unforgettable
Environment
The physical challenge of
A long steep climb
Followed by another
Long ridgeline descent
Is more than awarded
By the feast for
Eyes and soul
All around

The final day
Long and narrow sidles
Up and down precipitous mountain sides
Confirm the need
For care and concentration
Not one but two
Massive hills
To climb and descend

Fit and capable by now
Walking this land
Is once again
Exhilarating

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