After spending a good bit of yesterday and some time today taking care of necessities and errands, this afternoon we broke free from the stoplights, suburban lawns, and shopping car parks to hike. We drove about 20 minutes to the Port Hills section of Christchurch (where James ran on a long run recently) and parked at a currently-closed coffeeshop called the Way of the Kiwi and set out on the Crater Rim Trail.
We hiked about an hour and the views were amazing!
The trail wound between the remnants of an ancient volcano that erupted long ago and left behind a huge bay and hills. Recent rains had turned the single-track trail into a mix of mud and grass, and our journey along the ridge took us through low bush, tussock (a tough grass that grows in clusters throughout the South Island), and open hillside.
At one point I complained to James that I couldn’t much appreciate the views because I was on duty hiking right behind Calvin to keep him safe. Calvin replied, “Okay! Let’s switch places!”
In all seriousness, the dropoffs caused my stomach to swerve a few times and all three kids fell once each but only due to mud, not precipices. Overall, it was a great late afternoon hike.
Let’s just say that we definitely plan to return to try out another of Port Hills’ 30 hiking/tramping tracks, and James and I would also like to come back to do some trail running together. Perhaps even an official trail race?!