Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Bushcraft...

Last weekend was spent up in Holdsworth Lodge in the Tararas on my bushcraft course. We set out from Wellington on Fri evening. There were only 6 of us in the mini bus on the way up (including driver) as the rest of the group was in a different mini bus. I had a relatively quiet journey up but that was fine with me... stopped in Carterton I think it was for some dinner... had a yummy falafel kebab for dinner. Really scrumptious!

It wasn't from there to Holdsworth Lodge and while I knew that there wasn't going to be serious amounts of tramping in the weekend I didn't expect us to park literally at the door to the lodge!! Bit of theory and then bed which I was looking forward to. What i quickly learned was that quite a few people fall asleep very quickly. And how did I know this? Well mainly because I could hear them. Quite a few snorers in the lodge that night :)

Sat morning we started with some navigation theory, reading maps, using compass etc. I've covered this sort of stuff before in Ireland so nothing too new here... but good to act as a refresher.
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Before long, by 10am sort of time I mean, we could hear the rain outside. There seemed to be quite alot of it. And it gradually got colder and colder. By midday I had on all my layers bar my hut clothes for the evening... and we hadn't even left the hut yet. A bunch of us were walking around wearing our hats!

Anyway, we left the hut about 12:30 or maybe 1pm... I'd no watch on so really didn't know the time! It was bucketing rain out there but I was so cold I was just glad to be moving. Once we got to Donnelly Flats we put up some flies, tent etc. Well we were shown how to put them up and sort of helped but my fingers weren't working because of the cold and I had no idea how to tie those knots anyway... so I just hammered some pegs in to the ground. This is what we were originally going to be sleeping in on Sat night...
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Now, this picture might give you idea of how wet it was...

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The plan was then changed so that those who wanted to sleep in it could but if you wanted to you could go back to the hut. No hard thinking for me then! But we were still planning to spend the afternoon up on the Flats and cook dinner in the flies before heading back to the lodge. It was 2pm. And bloody freezing. I went for short stroll with Danielle and when we came back I was ready to put on my one hut clothes to stay warm (they're the stripey polyprops) I was so cold. But we got the great news that we were going to go for short walk and then head back to the hut. To be honest I'd have been happy to go for decent walk and then head back but I didn't really mind so long as I wasn't standing still! Back at hut it was pre dinner snacks, dinner, some cards (well it wasn't a card game but anyway) and bed... 3 people slept in the flies.
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Lodge was quieter that night :)

It was actually a very very cold night but Sunday at least wasn't raining. So after a tasty breakfast of muesli and water we dressed up warmly and headed out...
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So we headed off to Donnelly Flats to learn about when you do and don't attempt to cross a river and if you're going to do crossing how to do it. This is us practising feeling obstacles on the ground and still working as a unit but with eyes closed.
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After that we moved on to the real thing...
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And it would appear that I enjoyed myself.

And that was kind of it. After all that I got a lift back to Wellington with Peter and Danielle and we stopped in Greytown for a much needed coffee and cake...
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ps I apologise but I haven't proof read this as I really just want to crash now but I know if I don't post this now I never will!! :)

2 comments:

Kathleen said...

Hey I am so glad you had a good weekend, pity about the rain but hey that makes it more real i guess. Looks like fun!

eefa said...

Thanks Kathleen. It was certainly an interesting weekend. I definitely expected more walking... and less cold but overall it was a different way (for me) to spend a weekend!