First things first: Merry Christmas! Well, technically it's only Christmas Eve here, which means it's only the 23rd in North America. But screw it, I'm wishing you all a happy holiday anyways!
I'm finally off work (worked til midday today) and am so pleased to have 12 days off. We're spending the holidays a wee bit different than last year when we were on the road. This year, we're doing it local. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'm still behind on keeping you updated on our recent adventures.
So where was I? Oh yes, the end of November (I've almost caught up!). Our flatmate, the lovely Natalie, took it into her hands to organise a giant group tramp (Kiwi-speak for hike). New Zealand is littered with amazing trails and overnight huts that you can book. So what did we do? Well, we booked out the entire hut, of course. 21 of us geared up with backpacks and took to the Tararua Forest Park for an overnight adventure.
We're a good-looking bunch, aren't we?
After camping at the trailhead the first night, we spent the first two hours hiking along the riverside. This required us to go up an down a few stair sets and across a number of wooden and suspension bridges.
Patiently waiting in the queue--only one at a time please!
We stopped for a light lunch and stretch, taking our packs off for a bit of a rest. Then we geared up again and were back on the trail. This time, however, the trail went up. Just up. That's it. For two hours. Any confidence I had in my fitness abilities were shattered and I deeply regretted the 65L pack on my back.
Looking remarkably cheery as we take a much needed rest.
But eventually, we got to the top! We really did climb a mountain. It was a beautiful view over Masterton and the rest of the Tararua Forest Park and I could not have been happier to make it to the peak.
Once everyone made it up to the hut, we proceeded with the mandatory group shotgun (no wonder our packs were so gosh darn heavy!) and enjoyed a spectacular sunset.
The next day was even more stunning! We packed everything up (what goes up must come down) and headed back down the mountain, stopping by the river for a relaxing foot bath in the icy cold water.
Because it's important to bring a basketball when climbing mountains.
I have a few spare photos roaming around from 2013 that I definitely want to share, but it likely won't be until next year. We are heading out of town on Boxing Day til after the New Year to work at La De Da music festival. I will be sure to have heaps of memories to blog about.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my lovely readers. I miss you all so much this time of year!