Out After Dark

We fancied a bit of a challenge a couple of weeks ago, and were tipped off to a good’un by Sophie and Rob, we headed over to the Pirongia Forest Park near Hamilton.

We spent the night before at a campsite in Kawhia, a one horse town on the west coast, with a hot water beach that no one else seems to be aware of.

The next morning we headed to Pirongia for less of a walk and more of a scramble. The walk heads up, way up, for 2 hours, along a ridgeline. Although the sun was shining when we left camp, Pirongia was in cloud. But that ultimately made it all the more stunning when we made it above the clouds; it was like being in an aeroplane!

And then lunch at the summit!


We then had a decision to make. Go back the way we came, or…..do the loop track, which almost doubles the number of kilometers, and involves a hell of a lot more up and down…aaaaaand may mean us ending the walk in darkness.

So the latter was the obvious choice.

It. Was. Hard. Work. And. Awesome.

18km of up, down, up, down, scrambling, climbing, swinging from chains and branches. Which was SO much fun, and ended with a race against the sunset….

The sunset won.

I am not a CrossFit nutter. I do no official form of exercise. But believe me when i say that walk made me reconsider my stance on such things. So that last few kilometers were blimin’ hard work just trying to keep Phil in my line of sight in the fading light. Needless to say, I was destroyed, it got dark and we did the last half hour in the PITCH black by phone light – and FYI Simon, this is not the same as getting caught out on a ‘stroll’ in the New Forest.

But we loved it.




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