New Zealand 2020
Right. My Turn. I’m leading this one. I grew up in the mountains. I know them like the back of my hand, right? Wrong!
Having well and truly caught the hiking bug by now, I’d decided there must be an incredible long distance hike in the Blue Mountains, and I was only sort of right. For such an expansive and scenic location, there is very little in the way of overnight hikes in the Blue Mountains. After much research, I decided on the Kanangra to Katoomba, a three day, 45km hike, with plenty of splendor and a healthy amount of isolation.
With the full knowledge that I would be leading this hike, I looked up to the great leaders of history (ie: Jim Kirk) and meticulously plotted our itinerary on my newly purchased maps. Maybe had I spend a more time on logistics and a little less on making our own custom fantail wrappers, I wouldn’tve overlooked the 3 hour drive to get to Kanangra (thanks Mum) and we wouldn’tve spent so much time walking in the dark…
Well a little night walking never hurt anybody, or maybe just a few people, and it certainly wouldn’t stop Kirk, so off we went. Kanagra walls are just so incredible, they are already so remote themselves but as you descend into the thick bush you lose sight of the skyline and the feeling of isolation intensifies.
Although we found evidence of other hikers, we never saw another soul. No hikers, no tourists, not even a wallaby. Instead we were treated to intense navigation through the bush when the path seemed to vanish, not to mention steep climbs and the bitter cold and rain. We never made our intended campsites, our delayed start was such a handicap that even after an hour or two of night walking we still had another two before we’d make camp, and those two feel like twenty when its raining.
On the second day we crossed the cox river, and after drying (and then warming) our feet, we found ourselves in the path of a wild pig. Cue the wild deer scene from Stand By Me, cue Sigur Ros’ ambient soundscapes so we can intimately reflect on the beauty of the wild. Cue absolute terror when we realise its coming straight for us. What do you do when a giant wild pig is headed straight for you? You hear about wild pigs that can run away with a hunting dog biting its rump until the dog suffocates, what the hell were we supposed to do. Well, we just stood there nervously and the pig ran away. Gripping stuff right?
We didn’t make camp that night either, but one more day of walking till we reached Katoomba, only to find that we’d unwittingly walked a third of an even longer, even more isolated track! We’ll be back for it one day, but we were well due for a pub meal and a warm blanket. Full gallery
Mickey or Michelle, depending who has more to say on the subject :)