Saturday, January 9, 2010

A brisk walk up a hill

A work colleague yesterday asked me if I would be keen for a brisk walk up a hill today. I thought it sounded like a fine idea so agreed. Wellington is not short of hills so I imagined a pounding of suburban streets would be the order of the day.

We were joined on our walk by Leo, the confused male cavoodle belonging to a friend of Ruth's, who sported a lovely pink ribbon...this may have explained his need to cock his leg every five minutes in a bid to demonstrate his masculinity. The three of us headed out to Khandallah in Ruth's little red Starlet, in a roundabout way - a driving tour of Wellington was provided free by Ruth. Parking by the summer pool we headed up the path.  The sign read "Mt Kaukau" - the mountain bit should have been a warning! We headed bravely up at Ruth's pace with the occasional breather (Ruth and I) and leg cocking (Leo). It was probably three quarters of the way up that it became apparent that it was some time since she'd been up there and the hill seemed to have grown in that time. There were indeterminable steps and the path seemed to always be promising an end just round the corner but never producing it.

Finally we reached the TV mast at the top. Some smart guy had labelled the stile at the top "The Hillary Step" -  and they weren't far wrong! The view from the top was worth the slog though. You could see most of Wellington spread out beneath you.  Forget Mt Vic! This is the place to go for a fantastic view!

A "nice well-spoken young Khandallah man" (Ruth's description) kindly told us how to go back down another way. The route is sign posted but not on par with the Montana Heritage trail. There could have been potential for me to get lost I'm sure (who am I kidding....I can get lost in Westfield Queensgate). When we told the NWSYKM the way we'd come he informed us we'd taken the boring route.

Well, by boring I guess he meant not life-threatening for walkers! The downward path was a reasonable facsimile of a trail with the all important channel caused by winter rains running down the middle. It would have been fun at a run but picking our way down meant we could enjoy every nuance. I said to Ruth that the NWSYKM probably ran down at full pelt, something he confirmed when we met him at the bottom. I think by that point Ruth had other not-so-nice names for him!

It gave me great sympathy for those kind fit/fast souls who have borne with me on runs that have pushed me to my limits and barely raised a sweat on them. I really appreciate Ruth introducing me to Mt Kaukau and I plan on returning to it very soon and this time I'll run it!

What today did prove is that the wonderful strapping that Michele showed me does help my foot! My leg has no chance to go equine on me. My foot stays perfectly in place and no stressing occurs.  The padding in my shoe has also helped but I wore my trail shoes today and the lack of padding was not a problem. Trail has hammered my foot in the past so I am well pleased!  Ooo rah!  Someone buy that woman a drink!

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