Merry Christmas Eve everyone!
Remember I am living in the future. I can tell you this, your today and tomorrow are going to be wonderful. When I say wonderful I mean that they will literally be full of wonder, so keep the eyes peeled and make sure you don't turn an oblivious eye to what is being given to you both literally and metaphorically.
I woke up today with bolts of energy. So much to do! So much to see in this beautiful town of Palmerston North. It reminds me of Boise. It's home to New Zealand's largest university Massey University, so its full of aspiring young people filled with ambition, optimism and angst, ready to learn and change the world!!! Suckers :) Hahaha. I kid I kid. Honestly though, it is a nice town and really not a bad place to be unexpectedly stuck for the holiday.
I had intended to come here and get a foot xray while house sitting for a friend (whom I have yet to meet actually), but things get silly around the holidays. The key which was sent over a week ago has yet to show up at the post office where I was suppose to pick it up. And in order to get an xray, I first have to go to a doctor and essentially get a doctors note saying I need an xray in order to get an appointment to get an xray. So basically I have to go to a doctor tell them what I already know I need, pay them to confirm what I already know, walk across town to the radiology center, get an xray, and pay them to tell me the parts I don't know. It's silliness I tell you! Silliness I am willing to do, but yesterday was hectic and I didn't have the mental stamina to follow through with all those actions. Instead, I sat down at beautiful park in the middle of town at the foundation of a minimalist building whose sole function seem to be projecting classical music for the masses, and I wrote a sarcastic poem of my follies. Enjoy
A Christmas Poem of my Stupid Life
On this day of Christmas eve's eve, I sit in a park and I ponder
of the jokes, pranks and tricks played on me, laid on my feet. I am life's jester.
My visa was lost, my flights were delayed
and my bag didn't make it on the last plane.
They knew where it was, but it took them 3 days
to send it from Sydney. Reunited again!
My bag was too heavy, my toenails too weak,
the rain was persistent, and caused swelling feet.
The rubbing and rubbing and rubbing of toes
caused them to fall off. I have the "No big toenail woes."
I limped through 3 forests, west coast to east.
I got tendinitis, but I made it at least.
I took some time off, and then hit the trail
with he fine company of friends I just couldn't fail.
We made it to Auckland with joy, and with laughter.
The doc said to "rest, and hit the trail after."
I posted up on Waiheke, the island of wine.
Beaches galore, I was going to be just fine.
The last stake pounded, my tent firmly erected,
it started to rain. This was NOT the weather projected.
For 36 hours it rained and it poured.
Oh man how it rained!!! And it was going to rain more.
That much time in a tent, things get weird, that's the truth.
While playing the mouth harp I chipped my front tooth.
What started as grass turned to pockets of puddles.
From puddles to lakes, this was no time to muddle.
I ferried back to the city, caught a bus the next day,
and headed to Hamilton without delay.
From Hamilton, south, over farmland and hills,
up ridges and mountains, through forests that thrill.
To the Top! To the Top! Away we will go!
but with 10 days off, and an old lady hip, this up-going was slow.
The tough get going, but these goings are tough.
But you can't be too sad, in your very first hut!
We laughed and rejoiced under the setting sun's glaze,
while some left the next morning, some of us stayed.
A refreshing day off, then time for more trail
I once thought I was strong, but it turns out I'm quite frail.
"I will soothe these old bones in geothermal pools
Maybe that will do the trick." thought this optimistic fool.
Two days of soaking, and now a long story short,
I sit in a park here in Palmerston North.
I came here to housesit just to keep things cheap
I might also get an xray of one of my feet.
I went to the post, where waiting for me,
should have been a post retstante package, with a house key.
"There's no package for you," she politely explained.
My heart sank deeper than it already had been.
"Check back after lunch, it may be here by then."
When, oh when, will this ridiculousness end!?
So... on this, the day of Christmas Eve's eve, I sit in a park and I ponder
on the jokes, pranks, and tricks played on me, laid at my feet.
I am life's jester.
Life right!? What a ride! I am happy and grateful for all of you and wish you the best of holidays. Keep your eyes open and searching for wonder.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
I headed out of Hamilton early with Celine, one of the French women I had met on the first night on the trail ate Twilight Beach. She was also inching her way back onto the trail after suffering from tendon issues which had forced her off the trail for 3 weeks, and I was glad to be in good empathetic company.
|Did I mention Hamilton is where the Rocky Horror Picture Show was written and first performed?|
|I would have LOVED to have been the artist hired to cast this sculpture.|
|Let's do the Time Warp!!|
Everyone is so fit at this point. Their clothes are looser than when we first began and I am definitely feeling less than adequate having sat in hostels and tents for the last ten days, supposing to stay off my feet and eating food sometimes out of sheer boredom. Have I mentioned before how awful I am at holding still? Where I was planning on feeling thin, stringy and wiry, I was actually feeling more disgustingly squishy and fat. 90+% of all of this trip is a mental game, please keep that in mind. Where you are at mentally, directly effects where you are at physically. On the bright side of things and with an optimistic flip of the brain-switch, being back on the trail will turn this all around quickly.
The first day out of Hamilton was all road walking and although it's not my favorite I was happy to have had an easy graded re-introduction. My feet were sore, but doing well and my heart was singing appreciations when we finally found the place to camp for the night in beautiful green rolling hills. Sheep bleating greetings amid random limestone rock formations served as the welcoming committee for encampment.
I was so enthusiastic at my reunion with tramping that I created two projects under the setting sun that evening. Afterwards we all dined together and shared many many laughs. I had been missing the company if my trail family, and it was a wonderful realization to find that they had become exactly that. Family.
As we laid down to sleep the wind gusts paid visit and we all discussed the next morning how we sat awake in our tents waiting to be blown away. But the angry air must not have lasted too long because we all gave up thinking about it shortly and fell into slumber. I was exhausted, and I would not be surprised if I literally fell asleep with a smile on my face.
Celine and I got a head start again in the morning but it didn't take long for the group to catch us, and eventually later in the day, to pass us by. It never really does though. Everyone says it's not a race, and they would be right in saying so, but it would be a lie to say that each person in the clan isn't more than acutely aware of their place in the parade.
|Another treasure. I tried to take the skull but it wouldn't let go.|
|I told you the vines are like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.|
My right hip was bothering me, which isn't out of the ordinary as over the years I have had some chronic issues with it. Luckily just before the steepest part of the hike to the peak of the tallest mountain I had hiked so far, my hip finally gave way and came partially out of socket, before thankfully changing its mind, making an about face, and re-entering the socket where it so often forgets it belongs. The last 3 km were extremely slow. I did okay though. Each summit has a trophy waiting for you at the top, disguised in a gorgeous view and shrouded in a bit of pride. Valleys mingling between dwarfed mountains below, hills, volcanoes and off to the east the ocean.
Perfectly placed, and perfectly timed, Francine pointed out to me an etching on a boulder beneath the viewing platform where it was written "Amazing life Sara!"
Too true. Thank you life reminder.
|Sweat, mud, and a mid-smart-alecky comment face|
|Treetops and ridges from whence we came|
What did you think of the hike?
How are you feeling?
How are the injuries?
And just an overall review of your mental status, because as I will mention a million times, its 90+% mental.
There was no sneaking into camp for me. Everyone saw me cry...and that show of weakness was the worst part of it all. Being injured is one thing, being seen as weak is not something I am accustomed to and it was absolutely embarrassingly infuriating. But it is what it is. You get over it and move on.
I had officially made it to the summit, and to my first hut. I am hopeful that if I can hike 3 km up steep terrain on a complete shit hip, then I can get through the rest of this trail :)
The sun made a beautiful spectacle of the sky. A peace offering perhaps.
|Back Row, left to right: Pieter (Belgium), Manu (France)|
Front: Me, Ami (Kiwi), Laura (Australia), Celine (France), Francine (France)
The following Pieter, Jason, Manu and Laura continued on while Celine, Francine, Ami and I took a day to rest and just, more than anything soak up the beauty.
I realized during me time in Hamilton that my fall away from my yoga practice while on the trail was a detriment to the maintenance of my spiritual, mental and physical health. Celine had mentioned never having done yoga, so. we took the mats from the bunks in the hut, carried them out to the helicopter pad where we had 360* views of the world below, and I gave my first yoga class. It was the most zen I have felt since my arrival in New Zealand and served as an inspiration for the next sculpture.
aka the yoga platform
The day of rest was spent eating, talking about food, and eating. Food and gear are two of the most common topics of conversation among trampers. I think we all also managed to sneak in a nap. It was pretty much the best day ever.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
|The nesting Gannets on Muriwai Beach|
|In a knot hole|
|Dave and Jo, to whom I owe much gratitude.|
|The setting of 24 Hours in Tent|
|The guts of the operation|
|A skeptical debate|
|I found a new FUNction on my camera that is suppose to beautify you|
|Good lord I am so pretty now!!!|
|The Journey. Low Tide.|
|Lil' ol' me.|
|The great Kiwi milkshake at thew end of the Dome Track|
|Ummm, see a doctor|
Saturday, December 7, 2013
|A proper stage @ Music Mountain. |
|Pestions view overlooking Pakiri Beach|
|Martin hypnotizing the onlookers|
|My future home!|
|Matakana bathroom beauties|