Caspar, Ramash and I went looking for bush and creeks. We started by climbing the brutal 4WD track up Climie from Tunnel Gully that we reccied a couple of months ago. This time however we dropped straight off the back of the Hutt Valleys ventoux into Climie Creek. Once we remembered that wet bushbashing was best done with raincoats on it was a blast (its just that it had been a while).
The subsidiary ridge dropped us in the creek pretty quickly but there were no obstacles that weren't easily skirted or scrambled. Ramash comes into his own on rough terrain and Caspar does a good monkey imitation so were made pretty good time with my gimpy ankle holding up.
It was great to meet the Pakuratahi River. Pouring down with a touch of tannin from the centre of the Rimutakas. The forest is powerful here, Rimu's and red beech lord it over the lesser shrubs, and we just pass briefly. The journey down river to the old railway corridor was fun bush travel practice, but little of a serious nature with these water levels.
This could be a wilderness river anywhere in New Zealand, what a spot! Out onto the incline and it was great times, running and occasioanlly sprinting between interpretation panels. Learning the storys of the people and steam engines that had passed this way before. A real highlight for me was running lightless through the long tunnel, with only the distant shield of light to guide you. After a while it feels like the shape of light is hovering in your vision, moving backwars and forwards, levitating, and it becomes quite a surreal experience until the brush the rough concrete with the back of you swinging hand.
Emerging on the far side to the wasted foothills where forest and eight species of Moa once lived, you wonder of what mistakes we are making now that are the equivalent of these mistakes they made in the past. I was surprised to learn that the fires in this area were often started by sparks from the great steam engines that rumbled up these steep inclines. Great mission, thanks heaps guys.