Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
July 2019
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Lake Waikaremoana hike, day 2

Day 2 was a leisurely day, with the 6km journey between huts completed before lunch (just how much before depended on age, fitness levels, number of stops taken, and support of the idea of “leisurely”). It was overcast for most of the day, which meant “flat” and subdued lighting conditions for photography, but the rainforest was still beautiful and some sunshine snuck through for a brief moment or two at lunchtime. Unfortunately, during the afternoon — and before the clothes I’d washed had had a chance to dry — it started to rain.

This didn’t stop some of us venturing outside, since there was a whole afternoon to enjoy. I decided to follow the track a little further over some of tomorrow’s route, in order to try taking some time exposure shots with the tripod that I nearly always carry on hikes (well … I wasn’t carrying a tent … !). The slight problem was that there weren’t as many nice little waterfalls as we’d seen earlier, and the photos were disappointing, so you aren’t seeing them. I got myself a little bamboozled on this little excursion, too: the track went inland in order to cross the stream (they’re streams in NZ, not creeks, even when they are raging rivers) before coming back out to the lake shore again, and I completely failed to identify the point at which the direction changed which left me quite disoriented. Despite being aware of this, it happened again on the return trip, and, to my embarrassment, the following day when we continued on our journey.

Some amusement was provided during the afternoon by some members of our party who had discovered some invading non-indigenous flora, and so foraged for feral potatoes. Boiled in pieces and buttered, the fruits of the hunter-gatherers’ labours made a nice appetiser for our dehydrated fare in the evening. (That’s Sally in the photo searching for decent-sized spuds. Please note that thermals under shorts are de rigeur — or, at least, widely accepted — in tramping circles!)

With the weather inclement and the light fading, the evening entertainment was card games by candlelight, until about 9pm when everyone headed for bed. I had great difficulty coping with such early nights, and it didn’t help that I’d managed to acquire a whole collection of sand-fly bites on my legs and feet that itched like mad, starting around 11pm and continuing into the early hours. I’m sure my tossing and turning kept everyone awake in the close quarters of the bunkhouse sleeping platforms!

A collection of additional day 2 photos can be found here.

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