Tonight we have yet another hockey game, this time against Ruahine. I will keep you posted on it.
For now though, I’ll tell you about the tramp that Dad and I went on last term. It was up to Sunrise Hut in the Ruahine Ranges.
We saw lots of different fungi on our walk up to Sunrise hut. These fungi looked to me like birds eggs. The fungus came in many different colours, there were greyish-blackish fungus, dark brown fungus, white fungus, chestnut fungus and black fungus. The fungi in the trees were huge, they would have been about 20cm round and some were probably even bigger! There were some that were tiny though, they were very difficult to see on the path because they were camouflaged. Some fungus looked like flowers, they were chestnut or white with little grooves that made them look like petals.
There was a bench on the way to the hut. On it, it said ‘Central Hawkes Bay Branch Royal Forest & Bird Society JOAN CURREN Memorial Seat 2007’. Dad said that we should always sit on benches that we saw on the tracks because someone had brought them all the way there. It was near the entrance to the Waipawa Forks hut track entrance that we went down the next day. We stopped for a drink and a snack because the path was very steep and we needed a rest.
For dinner we had sour cream and chives pasta. It was very tasty and hot. We took a block of chocolate, porridge mix, the pasta mix, milk powder, six muesli bars, a packet of biscuits, beer for dad, honey, peanut butter, bread rolls, nuts and dried fruit. For breakfast we had porridge and honey, dad had milk in his, but I didn’t so I burnt my mouth! We cooked all of our food on the gas burner, the pots got very hot and so we used the special tool for picking them up. We had nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and biscuits at the top of our pack so that we could access them easily.
When we got to the hut we took off our packs and went up to Armstrong Saddle. It was about a 15 minute walk up to the saddle and we had an amazing view from the top. We walked up further than the saddle when we arrived and later in the night walked the opposite way. This was the view when you walked up the small hill at the back of the hut. I was taking a photo from a point in the path and dad was round the corner, he said that I should not step forward, I didn’t know what he meant until I walked round the corner and realised that there was a big drop that led to the bottom of the cliff!
The view out toward the car park was amazing. There you saw houses, fields and the sea. We could see the road that we had come up to the car park on. At night the sky cast a faint reddish line along the horizon. From Armstrong Saddle we could see the hut and the slim path that we had walked along to get to the saddle. The view was very stunning and I took loads of photos of it. It was amazing to see the tiny houses below us and it was only then that I realised how high up we were.
There were lots of plants that we saw along the way. These flowers were all along the path to Armstrong Saddle, in the inside they were yellow with little black stripes on them. We saw flowers that looked like daisies but with less petals and little blue flowers. There were also lots of interesting trees too. There were red and black beech trees, we learnt how to tell the difference on one of the signs. The red beech has large, serrated leaves and the black beech has small smooth leaves. We also saw kahikatea trees, rimu and matai.
Along the way there were lots of signs. There were signs that had facts on them and signs that told you how far away from the huts you were. We learnt many different things from the signs like what the wart-like things on the trees were called, they are called burls and they are like scars. We also found out that the Ruahine Ranges get five times the amount of rain that Onga Onga gets. On this sign we found out that we were standing right were a horse had died, I thought that that was very weird.
We went up to Armstrong Saddle again later in the evening after dinner. The sky was getting reddish as we came back down and went we got to the hut there were stars in the sky and the moon was out. When it was dark we went to bed, there were no curtains so from my bed which was by the big window I could see the stars. There were so many stars and I saw five shooting stars and three planes. There were also possums playing on the roof and so they made an awful scratching noise on the roof.
We were sharing the hut with six Australians and an American man. The Australians arrived at the same time as us and the American man arrived when we were at Armstrong Saddle for the second time. The hut could accommodate 20 people and had a small kitchen. There was a small cabin on one side of the hut that we slept in. In the main cabin there were 14 bunks and some were even three stories high! The view from the three story ones were amazing.
We took the path to the Waipawa Forks hut on the way back. The path was by the river and we had to cross the river a few times. We couldn’t find the hut but eventually I spotted a sign and we went over and read it. On the sign it said that the hut was only a five minute walk. We went inside and had a look around. There were six bunks on one side of the hut and another six on the other. We couldn’t see a path and so we went back the way we had come. I bruised my ankle on the one of the rocks when I was crossing the river and it hurt a lot. When we were walking back, I slipped and fell off the track, hurting my ankle once more.
That was all of the things that we did on our tramp. If you haven’t been on one, then you certainly should, it was so much fun!