Friday, 11 August 2017

A walk in the rain

One thing to contend with when wanting to increase my fitness is the weather. Especially at this time of year! A lot of folk choose to join a gym, but I prefer the open air. Running isn't my thing but I do like to walk. I've more or less decided that Wednesdays will be my "go somewhere" walk, by which I mean somewhere other than the streets around home.

On Wednesday it was raining quite a bit so I decided to go for a walk at Otari-Wilton's Bush because with the tree cover you don't get quite as wet as walking out in the open in the rain. Though you do still get wet! 

For now I usually go for walks by myself. There are a few reasons. One is that I can go at my own pace - which is steady but not that quick. I can stop and take a breather whenever I need to. I sometimes find when I walk with others, who are generally fitter and not anaemic, I'm conscious of holding them up. Or they go on ahead, stop to wait for me to catch up, then when I get there take off again - so I don't get much of a breather! The end result being I don't enjoy the walk as much. another reason is that I get some "thinking space" and time to reflect. Lastly, in general the time when I go for a walk everyone else is heading out to work. I find if I don't get a walk in early in the day it's less likely to happen.

Part of the map of Otari-Wilton's Bush

I walked in from the "You are here" along the purple path which is fairly flat.

This an outlet from a pipe that goes under the road at the beginning of the walk, lots of fast flowing water there!

A mini-rapid - well not really but the stream is full and flowing quickly.

I took a wee detour to see the waterfall which I thought would be further away, but it was not that far
from the main path. Over a bridge and up a short path.

I was really glad I'd worn my boots as there was quite a lot of water on the path and I didn't need to try and avoid it.

Once I got to the picnic area  I decided to do a small circuit of the yellow trail. I've done it before and it doesn't take long.


I haven't been here before when it's been raining, there is a lot of water flowing under the bridge  I needed to cross to get to the track.

And then there were steps! I made it to the top of these without stopping - and then had a wee breather. There were a few more sets of varying lengths. This is where walking by myself means I can stop however many times I need to - which I did after each set of steps!

Decision! Up . . . or down? It wasn't a tough one as I needed to go down a) because that was the route I was taking and b) there wasn't enough time to do the longer walk as Locket would need picking up from her course soon. I think the longer yellow trail was about an hour - but would probably take me up to an hour and a half!

River stream crossing! There are all these little side steams feeding into the main stream which of course fills it up more.

This is another view of the same outlet pipe at the beginning of the walk showing how the water is pouring out.

Once I got back to the carpark I decided to walk up the road a bit. I've always been intrigued by this waterfall on Churchill Drive, right beside the road! It comes from quite high up I think. It usually has a trickle but when it rains it pounds down and I've always wanted to get a photo but it's not a safe place to stop.

A little way up the road there is another waterfall which usually is dry - except when it is raining.

 Photos all done I headed back to the car. It wasn't far for which I was very thankful as I found out a few of my toes had rubbed on my boots and given me blisters on the tops of the toes! Note to self - get some gel toe protector caps or sleeves.  It's possible I need new boots but not at the moment.

I really enjoyed this walk. The rain brought out the earthy smell, which I find very grounding - no pun intended! It's peaceful and quiet, apart from nature sounds, and as I didn't see anyone else on my walk it was as though I had the whole area to myself.

I feel ready to push myself a bit more than I have been doing. 10 minute walks are great but to build stronger muscles and also stamina I need to walk farther. I want to build up to longer more challenging walks over time and this is the way to do it. I also took a small day pack to carry my water bottle etc which added around 5kg of weight. For some it would be hardly a walk at all, but I was happy with what I'd achieved. I found the small trail a little easier than last time I did it. Footstep by footstep I'll get stronger 😃

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