Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Walk 14 - Just the usual

Today I walked the big kauri loop again. It's fast become a favourite! I figure it takes about 45 minutes to get through the ancient forest and up to the head of the coastal track; then 45 more on the coastal track itself round to Manuka boatramp; then 45 more to come home along the road. When I got to the boatramp, the tide was so high that I badly wanted a swim, even though it was overcast. Well, in I went, clothes and all. Then walked home wet, which strangely enough did not cause any issues. This walk was only 7 km but I got up to 10 for the day wandering around Takapuna Beach in the early evening with Chieanne.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Walk 13 - The Whole Shebang

Today I started out towards the north and returned home from the south, taking in Glendhu, the entire coastal walk, and Kaipatiki Forest. It was a hot day, but I only had a half hour at the beginning and end to walk on sunny roads, and the rest was in the bush. 13 km. My best ever!
I also found a great map on a sign by Eskdale Road, that seems to have most of the tracks in the forest marked on it. For scale, this part of my walk took about two hours from end to end and was less than half my total distance.
Yesterday's walk was the big kauri loop once more, but with the extra block included, for a total of 8 km. I see there's a new insect-friendly garden at the northern end of the track - with swan plants and indeed some very tiny Monarch caterpillars.
On previous days, I made my minimum quota by smaller walks plus mucking around the garden and in one case by jogging on the spot during a Doctor Who marathon. It got me to 8 km without ever leaving the house!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Walk 10 & 11: Urban Life

Yesterday I got to 5 km just by dint of wandering a few big-box stores. There was no real need, and traffic was awful getting there, but at least I got to my minimum quota. Today I visited a friend who lives about 4 km away, and that was all road walking, so it wasn't as picturesque as my usual forests and shores. At least there were glimpses of the Waitakere Ranges and the vast valleys of suburbia. She was going out afterwards and dropped me a couple of blocks from home, so I just made it to 5 km again. We'll blame the silly season, eh? But I'm itching to do a longer one again. Perhaps tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Walk 9 - Kauri again

After a day off, I decided to repeat my last walk since it is so new to me. The deep, dark forest is very different from a lot of the other places I walk - much taller trees, more native trees and less imported types. Love it. Went the slightly shorter route by omitting the Glendhu block, so only just busted 6 km, but will likely hit 7 before the day is out.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Walk 8 - Giant Kauri

There's a giant kauri in Glenfield! Not even 20 minutes' walk from my house, and I never knew it. Sure, I've seen bigger ones, but they all take many hours to drive to. As I entered this section of bush with the old kauri, it felt ancient... undisturbed. This biggest tree is said to be 800 years old, and there were many others around the 300 year mark. After I went through this gully, I met up with the northern coastal track and retraced my steps to the bottom of Manuka Rd. About 8 km.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Walk 7 - Bayview South

Down Witheford, almost met Kaipatiki Rd, then veered right along the coast and went all the way to Manuka before turning back. About 7 km. Ever so slightly stiff in the legs so that will be fine for today. I think the dustman was flirting with me; due to his stopping and starting, we passed each other several times near the bend in Manuka Rd, and each time he waved. Nice to see a friendly face.
It occurred to me that I need to be smarter if I want to get on top of the stuff I need to do. I've established that I can walk every day and blog about it a little, keep up with work, clean up after myself and keep the garden watered while also reading a little at night and getting enough sleep. These things keep me sane. The question is: can I also write every day, make art, engage in publishing and marketing, and complete the zillion one-off items on my list, all to my satisfaction? Well, I'll just have to add one thing at a time to the regular habits, I think. Might help, eh?

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Walk 6 - Kaipatiki Forest

I needed to go to the mall and pick up milk, so I first headed for the forest some way beyond it. Alas, not a coastal walk, but rather 2.5 km on roadsides to get to the forest in the first place. But that's okay, because "the woods are lovely, deep and dark" (though not frosty :P ) and it's one of the few places IN the city to get AWAY from the city. Nothing but silence and birdsong and the wind in the treetops. I got all the way down to the waterfall, though I hadn't intended to, and had trouble finding some of the trails I used to take - overgrown, impassable. There's no map and the signage at intersections is patchy at best, but it was great to reacquaint myself with a place I once went regularly, when I lived across the road. Here's an older article I wrote about it, with more pictures. Except I didn't drive there this time. Total: 8.8 km, and it didn't feel like that much at all!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Walk 5 - Bayview North

Just to be clear, I did not start walking 5 days ago. I've been doing 5 km most days for almost 2 years, since I got my fitbit. This is simply a drive to extend my stamina to the point where I can walk 6+ hours without complaint. :)
Anyway, today I started out north, went through Glendhu and over the new bridge at the bottom, then round the coast to meet up with the track at the same point I started yesterday. Seems to me that I do better always coming UP Manuka, and since there are several ways to get to the bottom of it, that's going to be the plan while I hover around the 7-8 km per day mark. 7.75 today! And some great tui pics at the dog park, which was deserted.

Walk 4 - Bayview West

I walked down to the beach, but instead of just coming back like usual, I went on around the coastal track to the left. I love that place. It really embodies home for me - the bush on the one side, the estuary on the other, silent except for my footsteps and the volleys of birds. I even saw a hawk. Came up from the shore at the end of a steep cul-de-sac and gathered a handful of nasturtium seeds from the wilds there, as I'd like to get my front rockery looking a bit more colourful. Total: 7.2 km.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Walking day 3 - Takapuna Beach

Today was our last day with our flatmate V, who is heading home to France. So we went out for a fairly naughty brunch (pancakes! with mascarpone and strawberries!) at the beach cafe and then took a lovely stroll along the beach and back. It was overcast with a decent wind, but the water was warm. The Pohutukawa trees are all coming out in bloom, the pic below is of three of the SMALL ones. The beach isn't even 2 km long so I only just squeaked over 5 km for the day, once I did the usual steps just messing about at home. Will extend it a bit tomorrow.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Walking challenge day 2 - Long Bay

So this morning it was all rainy and murky but I went to the beach anyway, in a raincoat, and it wasn't icky at all. Not even cold, and the sun came out a bit later on. Anyway, I drove to the near end of Long Bay, walked the length of it and some way up into the hills beyond, then turned around when I'd done about 3 km. It was gorgeous. The bush and fields were moody, the sea grey to begin with, the horizon indistinct. But the water embraced my feet as always, the tui pairs were out in full force, and I even saw a baby pukeko, all black and fluffy. No pic of him, I was too slow. Lost the glass cover from my camera screen; the electronic screen beneath is, so far, much more susceptible to fingerprints. Ah well. The thing's nearly 7 years old, it's had a good innings, though I won't ditch it till it's done.
Today's total walk: 7km, and not feeling it a bit, yay!
Also, there's a pic of last night's lemon orange Baileys milkshake. The milkshake maker hadn't been used in years and produced some of that hot oily smell I associated with my grandmother's mixer. Why yes, I did reuse the cup. Which was had over a hot bath and a good book. Books and baths aren't something I generally combine, but this was one of the free ones rescued from the roadside last week.

December Walking Challenge, Day 1

Well, I've got to start somewhere. I told myself I couldn't start this until I didn't feel like dying on the uphill homeward stretch of Manuka Road, and being that I missed a few days this week for one reason and another, I didn't think it would be so soon. But I felt just fine yesterday, hill and all, no twangs from old injuries, no hard breathing. Haha.
But what am I even doing? It's just my own idea, that I want to be able to walk all the way to Devonport some day soon. It's about 20 minutes by car. And I'll slowly increase from my current 5km per day until I can manage 20. Here goes!