Day 193 | 2nd night at Walker Creek: there's rockpools to splash about in

rest day

Just a day splashing around in the rock pools here.

The colour of the water made me reminisce about my teenage walks over to the Pelorus River in the hills behind Nelson. There’s a little confession to make here that maybe no one knows. When I was a boarding school in the 70s, shall I say early 70s, I used to visit my grandmother on a Sunday. (I played sport on a Saturday.) How I got the 9 miles to Richmond and back I can’t remember. The bus service was pretty sporadic and I can’t remember it going on a Sunday. After my first year my grandmother moved to Tauranga in the North Island but I never told anyone at school: the pattern of my weekend absence had been set.

I can’t remember when I first walked over to the Pelorus: I started by going up Fringed Hill and then later to Dun Mountain a few times which is a walk in itself. You wander up an old tram track that was built for a mining concern in the 1860s, that’s a straightforward walk even if it is quite a big day. You need to walk most of the way to the Dun Mountain to get to the Pelorus. I must have gone to the Pelorus 10 or 12 times before I discovered girls, although being a sensible lad I never stayed over there particularly long: I needed to get back to school by maybe an hour after dark.

The water there is cold and has a translucent green tinge due to the foliage on either side. A bit further downstream from where I went for the day it flows into a beautiful solid rock channel which has a rounded boulder bottom. It must be 4 m deep but is so clear that the gigantic trout you can occasionally spot in the river appear to be levitating. One day I’ll look at a map to find out exactly how far it was, my guess is that it is at least 15 km each way and included 2 reasonable climbs: I know I jogged a fair amount of the flatter tram line. I never told anyone of my excursions: all thought I was diligently visiting my beloved Granny.

So I started my wayward wandering early on.

There’s a huge difference here though: the water is 25°C, not 12°.