04 May 2015

Inside the southern Ruahine

Beyond the seat at the top of the No. 1 Line track, the remains of an old track winds its way through horopito and toro and eventually into the tupare (leatherwood). I followed it for a while on Sunday and eventually stopped to brew Lapsang Souchong in a small clearing. A jungle of gnarled, intertwined leatherwood branches surrounded me; overhead I could see nothing but the low grey sky. I sat on a toppled trunk and jotted notes, then tried unsuccessfully to photograph some tiny fungi growing among the moss blanketing the branches and logs low to the ground. A hedge sparrow popped out of the leatherwood and looked at me, then disappeared.

When the water boiled I steeped the leaves then sat writing and drinking tea. I felt wonderfully alone and hidden from the world that didn't matter. I felt a little like Snufkin.

(This photograph shows the interior of the bush further down the track. The leatherwood zone, where I enjoyed my tea, is literally impenetrable except where the track's been cut.)

All content © 2015 Pete McGregor


gz said...

sometimes when travelling in forest or bush you feel encompassed and cradled by the greenness...
other times you feel like an intruder.

Zhoen said...

Wow, looks like Middle Ea... um, nevermind.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete
What a lovely place for a cuppa. I can hear the Quiet from here.

pohanginapete said...

GZ, that's exactly right. I think familiarity has a lot to do with it — the more you visit a place, the more at home you feel.

Well caught, Zhoen. Still, the comparison's inescapable, and I realised that long before Peter Jackson's films.

Kia ora Robb. Interesting you should mention the quiet, because that's exactly how it was — the silence was magical.