Friday, January 05, 2007


Back from a couple of days camping. We not only survived. We really enjoyed it.

Putangirua Pinnacles is on the wild west coast of the Wairarapa. 58kms towards the coast from Featherton for those who know the area.

The DOC camping ground had only a (clean) toilet and a tap to wash your hands but no drinking water. We had to take everything. We camped with three other families. Froze at night. 26 degrees C during the day. Gorgeous.

One day we did a 3 hour walk to the Pinnacles lookout (6 adults and 7 kids aged 4 - 12). It was a huge walk for the kids (especially the little ones). Lots of hill work and river crossings. (And I was the only one who lost her footing and fell in during the river crossings. Figures. My friend, G, says, Do you want me to carry your camera across? I tell him "F*** the camera. Get me across!))

After lunch the same day we visited the seal colony at Cape Palliser and then the Cape Palliser Lighthouse.

Hmmm. The lighthouse. 251 steps to reach the lighthouse. No problem. I am fit. That was fine. 251 steps straight up like a never ending staircase. We all charged up. Up, up, up. That was OK. But upon reaching the top I looked down. Big mistake. Remember my dislike of swing bridges? My fear of heights? For a moment I wondered what people would do to save me if I had a meltdown and couldn't get down the stairs. Was there room to land a helicopter at the top of this cliff?

And then E needed to go to the toilet. At the summit. Our kind friend, G, took him behind the safety fence (ONTO THE CLIFF!) where E had to do number 2s. That evening E told me "I was so scared I thought I was going to vomit so I poohed instead!"

I got down by
  • my lovely friend, L, walking in front of me (and helping her 4 year old)
  • putting one foot in front of the other (as you do) and
  • deciding to help my new friend D who was behind me (who was also scared witless).
By the third step down I was actually OK.

Don't tell my kids I was petrified.


Janine said...

Good on you Mel you felt the fear but did it anyway!! Had to laugh at E's comment-pricless. I laughed out laoud reading that one. Go the Thorn family!!

karen said...

Yay Mel (and The Thorns). Glad to hear you had such a blast LOL camping!
Fearless Mel :o)
What's the next adventure? Isn't it great to *remember* that you're scared of heights when you're already in a high place!! (I've done that myself: oops)

Angela said...

It sounds like you had a blast, what great family time. I so can relate to the heights thing, I have a huge fear, and had to overcome it on the weekend, so I could go on the luge (you've got to get to the top somehow, and the gondolas are it!!!)

Ali Dub said...

Go you Mel, gosh that son of yours is a crack up! Have been thinking of you out there in the wilderness (hope the camera is ok)

Rachel Forester said...

Well done, so next year you take on Mt Cook! Happy new year to you and your family, i look forward to reading more of your eventures.

Andrea said...

Great adventure - you gotta do a layout of that, so in future years your kids will find out you were scared!!!! And of course the number twos incident.