Sunday, May 2, 2010

Taranaki Tramp

Mt TaranakiI'm a bit of a fairweather tramper, and the tramp I did on Easter weekend with A and a couple of friends was a really good re-introduction to NZ tramping. Not too cold, not too hot, not too wet, not too hard! Since our big bags are in boxes on pallets in a shipping container somewhere in the Pacific (at least we hope they are), we had to borrow our friends' spare bags. This resulted in an arrangement I am not going to complain about - Clare and I got the smaller bags. Clare has a lovely expression; she refers to certain things as blue jobs and pink jobs, and on this tramp the carrying of the bigger, heavier bags was a blue job.

A calls me the smule (Sarah+mule) for my "ability" to carry heavy bags long distances, although the price paid for loading me up is an increase in the volatility of my temper...much like a mule I suppose. A thought it was a pretty original nickname until we found out that the German-speaking boyfriend of another friend of ours with similar "abilities" calls her esel, which is German for donkey! Anyway, it was a refreshing change not to be loaded up this time, and it eased my worries about being out of practice - the Pouakai Circuit is a three day walk and I couldn't remember the last time I had done a proper overnight tramp.


So, the Pouakai Circuit - it's a fantastic track that covers varied terrain - it takes you through native bush and above the tree-line, across a swamp and streams, and over a gorge on a swing bridge. There are also ladders up to peaks (or down, depending which way you walk the trail), which I really enjoyed. There's something sort of nicely incongruous about finding boardwalk and ladders and bridges in the wilderness. I really appreciate how much easier they make it to walk the track, and it's encouraging to think of the hard work other people have done to transport the materials and construct them - it always puts any tiredness in perspective!

Because it was Easter, there were lots of people doing the circuit and the huts were full. We camped outside Holly Hut the first night and the second night we slept in a shelter - a roof, three walls, and benches around the walls wide enough to sleep on and just long enough to fit the four of us. Suprisingly we seemed to be the only ones to think of staying there, so we had it all to ourselves. We even got treated to one of my favourite sounds - rain on a corrugated iron roof at night. And this is what we woke up to (btw, all photos courtesy of A):

NZ Bush

It's good to be back!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Introducing fluxinflux...

So, let me introduce my blog. It's called fluxinflux because that is what my life is like! At the moment I think it will mostly be about things I like, things I am doing and hopefully things I am making. From previous experience I am pretty sure that this blog, and these things, will constantly be in flux...

Here are some things I like nearly all the time:
  • books - reading them and the objects themselves
  • arts and crafts - looking at it, learning about the story of a piece and the people who made it, and occasionally attempting it myself
  • food - cooking it and, even more, eating it
  • travelling - overseas and at home, especially when it involves a mixture of camping, tramping, cute villages, interesting towns, big cities and fairly regular hot showers

And some things I am doing in the next few days:
  • moving - with A from our kind friends' place into a flat we are very happy to have got a lease on
  • starting a new job - fortunately after we have moved into the flat which is a lot closer to the job than our friends' place

And some things I am making at the moment:
  • nothing - except CO2! but today I bought fabric to make Simplicity 3850 - Built by You Misses Slim Leg Pants. I have made these before but without paying attention to the advice on to cut the size according to the desired finished garment measurements, not your body measurements. I ended up with rather nice trousers but the 9cm(!) of ease rendered them unwearable by me! Last night I cut out the pattern for a size 10 rather than a 14, and researched different ways to sew zips into fly fronts. Can't wait to start...
  • oh, and this blog!
Thanks for reading!
Ciao for now...