Adventure is not my middle name any more. It may have been 20 years ago but for now I’m getting less and less adventurous. And before my father leaves a comment – I know, it’s a sign of getting older!
Today was a day I wanted a new adventure though. To take the bassets on a walk we’d not done before. To get out and try a new place for some photoblogging. So we hot foot at least 15 minutes from home. I know that may not seem adventurous but that was enough for me.
The last time I visited Akatarawa Valley was three years ago when we were hunting for land to buy on which to build our dream home. We looked at some priceless sections, one had an electricity pylon on it. Another was still a forestry block and would have required clearance first. The final one required a four wheel drive vehicle to access it and then mountaineering ropes to reach the site. Aside from it’s unsuitability for us it’s a popular place for hikers and bikers to walk the Akatarawa Forest.
I have to admit this photo study is pretty limited. The trail follows the line of the Akatarawa River but you are surrounded by lush bush so not masses of vistas to snap. It was more of a game of peek a boo to catch views of the river and the valley sides. This is a particular challenge for my photography to see if I could get close enough to anything and manage to keep things in focus.
The one thing that strikes you as you walk along is the enormous size of the trees. Huge New Zealand Fern trees. We could only wish that ours would grow that tall in the garden but realise that it will be generations to come that will have that pleasure.
Looking up at this fern tree it have almost feather like leaves. It was a wonderful contrast to the bright blue sky behind.
There were other specimen trees lining the valley that were equally dramatic.
I always feel New Zealand bush has that slightly prehistoric feel about it.
You can just imagine what this waterfall will be like after a good downpour of rain.
I just can’t get enough of these trees. Look at the sky, not a cloud to be seen!
It was tricky just to get this shot of the river between the vegetation. The water level was quite low but the water crystal clear. I quite like how the leaves frame the river, rather like fairy lights.
These trees were simply to tall to capture their entirety. You can see the contrasts between the ferns and other trees.
This walk wasn’t all about foliage though there were hikers, bikers, cyclists and quad bikers. A popular trail for motorised adventure which would I’m sure be fun. It did mean however that the bassets were kept on a lead so that we could contain them when they decided to follow the faster moving vehicles.
Fortnum was in basset heaven. There were some of his favourite things. Streams to drink from, mud to walk through, bikes to chase and loads and loads of new sniffs. Mason was content setting the pace on the walk and keeping me company as I stopped every so often.
As always my unpreparedness as a photographer meant I missed some of the best photo opportunities. MT had a fan tail following him for a few minutes. It was determined to follow hopping from tree to tree. I was gutted to have missed this photo opportunity but never mind. No sense in regrets.
It was a tame two hour adventure 15 minutes from home. Not a bad way to while away a beautiful autumn Saturday morning. We worked up quite an appetite I can tell you. The bassets were less pleased though as the state of their undercarriages meant that they were banished to the shower later in the afternoon.