James and I did a 5.7 mile trail run/hike together for our Thursday day-date (here are photos from last week’s day-date!). We drove to Halswell (6 o’clock, and Hals-well!), a satellite town about 9 km outside of Christchurch; it took us about 20 minutes to get there and we parked at a dead end. We knew we were in the right place because of James’ stellar map-memorizing skills and because a sign warned us about the fact that the trail we were taking crosses private land. And that we should yield to livestock.
Over the fence and up a steep hill to start.
This was, uphill, less of a trail run than a heavy-breathing walk, for me anyway. We walked and ran intermittently up to the 2.5 mile point where we turned back down.
Much of the path seemed to be used by farmers but today we didn’t see any. We did, however, pass sheep, cows, and about 10 other trampers, mountain bikers, and runners.
On the way back down we found a connecting trail (that we had intended to take and missed on the way up) to Kennedy’s Bush, a destination for another day). I really enjoyed letting the hills do more of the work; I love picking my way on trails at high speed. I said to James that perhaps I’m just meant to be a downhill runner. 🙂
Perils of the trail were few but did include some serious (though not dangerous) inclines and loads and loads of cow patties. And I mean LOADS. Do not wear good shoes.
But the views were truly spectacular, and the bright yellow gorseflower crowned the bush with a golden yellow (I have learned that gorse is an invasive species and that millions of dollars are spent trying to control and reduce its impact on the NZ environment. I do have to say, however, that I think it’s lovely). Even in the middle of winter, we could hear insects buzzing around and the light frost from the overnight hours had melted in all but the darkest shadows.