Recently I went tramping in New Zealand and didn’t die. Plus I came back with some photos. If you’re nice to me I might let you look at them.
Last weekend I went tramping overnight in the Southern Alps (that’s a big mountain range in the South Island of New Zealand). I used to tramp a lot, but for one reason or another it’s been some time.
New Zealand doesn’t have snakes, poisonous spiders, bears, crocodiles, ticks, killer koalas, bigfoots (bigfeet?), or toxic sharks.
The thing most likely to kill you in the bush (which is what we call our native forest) is the weather.
Sometimes the weather falls torrentially from the sky and rushes across the land in rivers, which tip you upside down and smash your head against submerged rocks you when you try to cross them. (In case you didn’t get the point, it was “never attempt to cross a river in flood”.)
So we planned two alternative routes.
The preferred route was flat and easy, perfect for my current level of not-fitness. It also involved a lot of river crossing.
The alternative route involved fewer rivers and more hill climbing.
When we called DoC (The Department of Conservation, overlord of backcountry routes and huts in New Zealand) in advance of heading out they told us river levels in the area were low because of the drought, but afternoon thunderstorms some days were causing flash flooding.
We decided that sounded promising and took the flat, river route.
As you can tell from the fact I’m writing this, we didn’t die. We didn’t even get an afternoon thunderstorm.
Instead we had a pleasant stroll up a grassy valley to a cosy hut with an excellent view and bug screens on the windows. The long drops didn’t even stink too much.
Then we came back and I wrote a post with too many adjectives.
Since I can’t end this story with a tragic death, I’ll show you some photos instead.
Did I mention New Zealand is beautiful?
What’s most likely to kill you in the wilderness near where you live?
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