New Zealand was rattled last night by the strongest earthquake since the big one that destroyed Napier in the 1930s. It was a 7.8 magnitude shake and lasted several minutes. The quake hit in the south of the South Island but was felt right across the country. I missed the excitement which occurred as I was just settling down with my book in bed. It’s a timely reminder that we live in an earthquake zone. Remarkably there was very little damage as the epicentre was in the wilds of Fjordland which is remote and mainly free of habitation.
There was also another reminder of the power of nature with the tragic death of the Chief Executive of Te Papa, our National Musuem in Wellington, who died with a family friend whilst out tramping in the Tararua Range not far from Wellington. It seems that the weather closed in on them and they weren’t able to make it to the safety of a mountain hut.
Whilst we may think as humans we are invincible it’s clear when there is a battle with nature there is usually only one winner.
The reality check with nature encouraged me to take a hike today with bassets to see if we could get some new views of nature. We weren’t disappointed by the Tararua Forest park which has an exit/entrance in Kaitoke. We started the walk from a high point and kept walking upwards till we found a decent viewing point. And this is what we saw.
The main part of the Kaitoke Valley laid out in front of us. Those pink trees are bare and showing their winter view.
It’s when you see a view like this it makes you realise how big the country is and how small we are within it.
As well as the magnificent views from a high point there was some splendid forestry, bush and other plants. I was mesmerised by the wealth of lichen which was everywhere. It was a great hike to get the views and you can understand why people tramp here in New Zealand. The only drawback for me was that my four legged friends aren’t that keen on upward climbs and prefer wide open grassy spaces so that they can hoon around.
And who am I to disappoint my favourite bassets?