hunting link

On the tops

On the tops

Winter time

Winter time
Time for doing


'Begin doing what you want to do NOW ! We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake'

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Echos from the past

old bridge Ngaawapurua

From the diary.....Inclement weather on the Manson
It was yet another end to a six-week stint in Kaweka country.
I was leaving Ngaawapurua, on a heavily overcast morning, and I thought the chances of remaining dry for the whole of the trip, were so remote I would have wagered my months salary. That is If I could have found a bookie on the Ngaruroro river.
The steep climb from the hut was well behind me, in fact I was rapidly approaching the vast open expanse of grassland of the Manson country. It was about then that the heavens decided to let me have it. And it was torrential, rain that had me gasping for breath. In such a deluge I was literally soaked to the skin in the first couple of minutes. So after the hour plus travel, with the rain still not abating, I was feeling like the proverbial drowned rat.
I entered the Manson hut for a few minutes breather, I immediately thought it pointless to be hanging about. So I farewelled Mickey Mouse, [those of you that have been to the Manson hut will understand] and was outta there. The terrain from the Manson down to Kiwi Mouth hut, is all clay pan and scrub. Fairly open sort of country with the final descent into dense Manuka. But well tracked non-the less.
With the rain still hammering down, I turned a bend in the track and there before me were three red deer. Obviously using the track in preference to being in the sopping bush. As one , though, they melted away off into the manuka. Bolt down and rubber scope protector off, rifle up to my shoulder, and I could see nothing! Delving into my sodden Swandri, I found some soaking wet tissue. I applied it to the lens on the move.I dropped the Vietnam pack via the Q.D. buckles and entered the thick Manuka scrub in exactly the same place as the deer.
A couple of paces ,and I picked out movement ahead. A deer, and she was climbing up on a ledge and disappearing over a lip ,followed by the second deer. Up with the rifle again this time there was leaves as well as water covering the lens. There was just no let up in the rain. A hasty wipe, in time to see the last deer hop on to the ledge. She hesitated, a fraction of a second too long.......Kaboomph and she toppled in my direction. I pushed further into the manuka, collecting torrents of water down my neck for my troubles.
I tailed and backsteaked her then made my way back to the track, it was a wild and woolly day all right. For now I could hear and make sense of the constant rumbling in the background, the river was up and raging. There were huge boulders careering along under the surface of the water.
I secured my Pack firmly in place, and made my way down to the crossing. Sure enough the river was a cauldron. Chocolate brown with creamy foam bank to bank, and roaring like a wounded bull. Huge trees were effortlessly carried along as if matchwood in this maddened monolith. Luckily the Forest Service in their great wisdom ,had erected a wire bridge, only a short walk downstream for just these sort of conditions.
And so it was....that I was across and out over the tops to Kuripapango base camp ,and a few days off.
The Manson

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view from "Riverstone Cabin"

view from "Riverstone Cabin"
Hope River