Mangawhero Forest

Cloud hangs like mist over the trees, fingers of it drifting across the hillside. The forest is dim but glows with the low light, a myriad of greens, wet and shining. Moisture is everywhere, sitting on leaves, running down dark trunks, wallowing in muddy puddles on the path. It’s no surprise, so much water pouring […]

In Dreams

Last night I dreamed I went to Yorkshire.* In my mind I travelled past Fox House, down alongside the stream to Toad Rock, left around the corner and up towards Surprise View. Mist hung low over the hills, flattening their tops, hiding Cark Wark, the ancient fort, and suffusing all with a muted light. The […]

Seasonal

Bright greens have become the warmth of orange and yellow with a scattering of red, and bronze glows in the light of a low sun. Autumn is upon us, the land transforming as the leaves change colour and then fall. A stiff wind brings a chill, tearing leaves from their flimsy anchors, swirling them into […]

Cruising the Sound

It’s eighteen years since we last visited Milford Sound, a visit tinged with sadness when we thought we would be unable to stay in New Zealand. It was before the tourist boom hit the country and only a couple of boats offered trips out into the Sound. Now half a dozen of them line the […]

Milford Track Day 4

Quintin Lodge to Sandfly Point: 21km (13.5 miles) Another day on the Milford; another 7.30am start. We don’t set off as a group today and, for the first few km, Neil and I are alone. Travelling as part of a large group I’d worried that we might spend a lot of time in a queue […]

Milford Track Day 3

Pompolona Lodge to Quintin Lodge: 15km (9 miles). Plus 90 minutes (5km) return to Sutherland Falls. Today is the biggest challenge of the Milford Track: crossing the Mackinnon Pass, a day of ascent and descent, very little actual putting one foot in front of the other without lifting or dropping it. I don’t mind the […]