The Joy of Walking

Walking for me has always been a joy. A time to simplify life-, eat, walk, sleep and really be in the world around me.

It’s an opportunity for adventure, time to slow down and observe what is around me- the birds, flora and fauna. A time to be with my own thoughts or not.

Me and mysister Don at the start to a new adventure!

I love adventures. Whether it’s on my mountain bike or walking - day trips to multi-day adventures. The Old Ghost Road in the North West corner of the South Island is a spectacular trip that I had ridden several times. It is 85 km and traverses incredible native forest, open tussock tops, river flats and forgotten valleys. In days gone by it was a gold miners’ road passing through four gold mining towns deep in the forest. A volunteer-driven trust has revived the road as a mountain biking and tramping trail –It connects the old dray road in the Lyell (Upper Buller Gorge) to the mighty Mokihinui River in the north.

Riding the trail was fantastic and a challenge. However, I had always wanted to go back and walk it-taking the time to appreciate the beauty and small details that you can so easily miss when riding.

My sister and I organised ourselves with 5 days food supplies, sturdy boots for the variety of trail surfaces, walking poles and good layers of clothing for warmth, sun and wind protection and rain. We needed it all. It was absolutely freezing on the tops and warm and sheltered in the valleys.

We set off with our heavy packs knowing that each day they would be getting lighter and we would be feeling fitter as each day passed.

Stair case to heaven

We had a wonderful time-saw 4 people in 5 days-had leisurely breakfasts, explored interesting off-trail areas, listened to the birds, identified flowers and trees, always looking for the ultimate lunch spots to fry up our toasties and drink hot soup.

And we had the luxury of having the cabins to ourselves with plenty of firewood to boot.

We did have a giggle to ourselves when chatting about our adventure on the car trip back to Christchurch.

We took 5 days and loved every moment of it, savouring the experience. Meanwhile, my brother in law and our brother had ridden the trail in 1 day and probably did not see much at all except the trail in front of their tyres as they whizzed by. Each to their own.

Written by Nicki Evans - one of the Sidetracks Women tour guide

Do you love hiking, cycling, kayaking?

No one around who shares your love for the outdoors? It feels unsafe and no fun going on your own?

You don't want to carry a heavy pack? You feel overwhelmed by all the details to get your trip right and get it safe? Instead of spending great times in the outdoors, you stay at home?

A list of obstacles holds you back and leaves you frustrated and disappointed?

You shouldn’t feel like this!

It can be a great deal to organize a tour popper and into the detail – even a shorter one! There is so much to think about and to organize.

You shouldn’t dream about ‘How-It-Would-Be’ to be on one of the exiting hiking tracks or cycle trails we do have in New Zealand. Instead, you should LEAN BACK and DREAM about ‘HOW-IT-WILL-BE’ to start into your next great outdoor adventures soon. Let us deal with all the trouble of organizing!

Just have a look if one of our guided cycle and hiking tours can spark your interest - and if you would love to learn more about a tour before you book email us:

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