Walkabout: Travel Life and Photographs

Akaroa Akaroa Akaroa

Mount Fyffe proved to be much more than I thought it would be. Just outside of Kaikoura lays the parking lot to the base of this peak. I don’t know how I pick all these steep uphill hikes, but this was by far the most challenging one I’ve done yet. Starting out at sea level this hike gives you no time to warm up what-so-ever, and takes you up 5,000 feet in a matter of 3-4 hours if your pace holds strong, and coming back down isn’t much faster.

I took a chance on this one because the weather wasn’t clear when I embarked on this journey, but the clouds looked to be hanging rather low and figured I might be able to hike through them and meet the sun on the other side. So starting out was of course wet and drizzly and rather nice. The clouds kept me cool by depositing a thin layer of water across my arms and face. I could even see the rain build up on my arm hair and slowly drip off only to be replaced by another. At one point it became so thick I could see only 10-15 feet in front and back of me. The trail slopped off at both sides and I couldn’t see past its edge. For all I knew I was walking next to either a pretty meadow or a cliff that dropped straight off. I envisioned the meadow. But eventually as I climbed further and further up the mountain I could see the suns bright orb shining through and within an hour or so I broke out to see snowcapped mountains to the north. I snapped a few photos and while I did the clouds rose to engulf me once again. I hurried along and left them behind for good. Next I came across a flat ridge where a hut stood for people wanting to stay longer. Seemed very nice and cozy inside with bunks and a wood burning stove, however not planning on staying there I took in the view. I could now see the snow covered peaks, a blanket of clouds covering the land to the south and west, and the blue, blue Pacific to the east. And it only got better once I reached the top. Having a bite to eat I watched the clouds slowly burn off to reveal the land below and the small peninsula that Kaikoura seemed to cling to. 

The next day I continued on South passing through Christchurch on the way to Akaroa where I’ve been for the past couple nights. Akaroa is a very pretty place with a small bay and large hills that seem to circle around the French settled town. It has some descent walks to do if you can follow or find the signs. I got lost on several occasions. The highlight though was seeing a peacock on one of them. It must have measured six feet in length from head to its bottom feathers, and let out the most awful screech when I got to close. The kind that makes a person jump back when they’re not expecting something so dramatic.

From here I plan to head to the west coast and stop off in Arthur’s Pass along the way. (Sweet~I just fixed the guys internet connection that he was having problems with here at the camp place. Said he had a computer guy coming out tomorrow to look at it, but said he wasn’t like me. Those comments always make ya feel good. And the crazy thing was he was just in the States traveling for 5 months. He was even in Estes! Stayed at Mary’s Lake Campground and absolutely loved it.)