|Queenstown, New Zealand. |
We set off westwards at a good clip on the road following the shore of Lake Wakatipu. However, the easy running ended as we turned north up Moke Lake Road, climbing 300 metres in just 3km. At this point, 10km from Queenstown, Keith decided to turn back, and the three of us continued over the saddle and down to Moke Lake. After the Lake, what was now just a four-wheel-drive track followed a gradually narrowing valley, frequently crossing back and forth across the shallow gravelly creek. JB and I, both handy steeple-chasers and occasional long-jumpers, were keeping our feet dry with huge leaps across the widening creek, while enjoying the sight of the less agile Pratty occasionally landing short. Our amusement waned further downstream when it became too wide for us to clear and we all continued on with wet feet.
|Moke Creek valley. |
JB and Pratty weren't too keen to climb up the steep heath-like mountainside to reach the track, preferring the four-wheel-drive track we were on. After some good-natured debate, we split up and I began climbing the steep slope. About half-way up, while scrambling on all fours across a patch of heath and vine, I became aware of a cold draft coming from below me. Peering down through the vegetation, I was alarmed to see nothing but a black abyss, an old gold-mine shaft! I inched forward, holding on to the most substantial stems and branches I could find, hoping they did not give way. After a few terrifying minutes, I reached terra firma, pondering the wisdom of the route I had chosen. Too proud to follow my mates, I continued on very slowly up the steep slope, carefully making sure of the ground beneath my feet.
|Moonlight Creek and Arthurs Point. |
My exercise today was literally more pedestrian. I walked about 9km around Copa and Whinney Bay. There were some long hills, but my cardio-vascular system stayed in the "green zone". I see the Cardiologist late tomorrow afternoon and am getting a little anxious about what he will say. I'm prone to optimism, but know I need to be ready to deal with some less-rosy scenarios.