Head for the hills

Flax flower

Getting away is always worth it. I don’t know how I forget to, caught month after month in the loop of routine. Mt Peel was waiting just a few hours up the road and a friend joined me for the day walk, no, tramp, for which we were glad we’d chosen boots over gymshoes — for mud, roots, and a hill that rose and rose. Somehow we both managed to ignore the bold DOC sign telling us we’d taken the steep south ridge route.

Clouds rolled back as we climbed a hill mantled in Dracophyllum, Spaniard, celmisias, hebes and, pictured here, korari burning in the mist. Crickets flipped about and two women breathed heavily.

Back in Peel Forest we pitched a tent, threw a meal together and one of us nipped back to the village for two small lagers — quite enough to set us on our ears for the night.

The stars out there are a river of light. They fell and flared and seethed.

Next day we talked and read, walked through the kahikitea and over the Rangitata riverbed, cooked lunch on a fire, had a final coffee in Geraldine and said goodbye. She went north, I went south.


If you get a chance, do it. 36 hours is all it took.

8 responses to “Head for the hills”

  1. Hi Grace. It is a pretty special place. We started at Blandswood but we were still chatting too much at that stage to be super-observant. Might have missed a tree or two by the sound of it. Will have to go back. 🙂

  2. Peel Forest is awesome! WEll done for all the walking. Have you been to the forest at Blandswood? (just on the Southern side of Peel Forest township) There are some VERY large and ancient trees, it’s quite special.

  3. Our boots are our friends, Claire. The more they’re used, the friendlier. And yours have been through quite some adventures with yout!

  4. Uncomplicated pleasures and so easily within reach. . . we need reminding how good adventures such as these are for us. Thanks for the nudge, Pen. My boots are at the door, anticipating just such an outing when the time is ripe. L, C x (love the image of flame in mist).

  5. You do have some boots, don’t you Pam? If not, let me march you down to . . . somewhere bootsy, one of these Friday evenings.

  6. Yes, I was envious of your three weeks in the bush, Prue. Hope it powers you through the next months. And a hip flask, why not. We FBers could all chip in and get you a GINORMOUS hip flask. Remind us.

  7. Pen, you inspire me to action, nearly. I liked hearing about it – is that the beginning? Watch this space… perhaps it’ll be me in those tramping boots in the next wee while. pmx

  8. This is how I reconstitute too. Oh, it feels so good! (Will someone buy me a hip flask for my birthday?)