South Marlborough blog | March 2022

I have been listening to Oliver Burkeman’s thought-provoking book, 4000 Weeks. In case you’re wondering, that’s the average human life expectancy, roughly.

His main point is that life is too short to fit in everything you want to do. I concur.

One of his solutions is to learn to enjoy the mundane things you need to do. Might as well, except I’m already pretty good at dealing with boring tasks.

He has a suggestion for the things that interest you. Make a list of the Top 25 things you want to achieve. Concentrate on your top five, and actively avoid the next 20, as they are just distractions to doing your Top 5.

So yeah, I’m in the hills once again.

My first expeditions of the summer were time constrained. This time it’s not. I’m gonna walk until I’m sick of it, or get injured, or the weather turns abominable.

First up, a cross country ramble inland from Kaikoura. I’ve been in the area twice before, so it’s Blind Saddle for the third time, but this time I’ll explore further to the south.

Only a track for the first and last mornings. Scrub not forest.

Not sure what to expect, but it’s really only the second day that will be difficult.

At least, that’s what I initially thought.

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Day 1 | Kohutara Bivvy

Inland Kaikoura range in the distance. | South Marlborough, March 2022

With few people visiting, it’s not like there’s a complete foot trail on the ground.

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Day 2 | Kohutara Bivvy, again

Heading cross country to towards Alfred Hut. I turned back.  | South Marlborough, March 2022

Under the cloud, only pasture. What was now apparent was that everything above the cloud was totally gnarly.

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Day 3 | Warden Hut

Mountain goat country. A few around. | South Marlborough, March 2022

Strange to be in thick cloud as I made my way down the 150 m or so drop to the saddle with directions from my memory banks, but fortunately that was in good working order.

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Day 4 | Forbes Hut

The Clarence River has changed course and you need to cross. | South Marlborough, March 2022

After the last few energetic days, my body was telling me something. Take it a bit easier.

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Day 5 | Palmer Hut

Clarence river north of Palmer Hut.  | South Marlborough, March 2022

Seven hours walking, albeit on a farm road once again, and my feet deserved a rest.

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Day 6 | Palmer Hut, night 2

Looking up the Clarence River from Palmer Hut. | South Marlborough, March 2022

When you see an opportunity to stay at good lodgings, well, you might as well grab it.

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Day 7 | Warden Hut, back again

Clarence River near Palmer Hut. | South Marlborough, March 2022

Can’t say I really mind backtracking. You get different views and a new appreciation for the landscape.

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Day 8 | Kaikoura

Looking down Seymour Stream towards the Clarence. | South Marlborough, March 2022

Okay, this has been one of my most unusual tramps. Lots of walking for seemingly little point.