Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tracking the Higher Ground

A Nice "Track"
In New Zealand they speak English, but you have to be careful, because it is not always the “English” that you are used to. I think that once they got so far away from the home of “English” they decided to tweak the language to their tastes.

There are many examples of words that have taken on slightly different meanings down under. The one that I noticed was the word “track”. Down here it means trail, as in hiking or walking trail. Regis and I have been making good use of the New Zealand tracks during our explorations.

We have always enjoyed walking and hiking, and when on the cruise ships, I have often looked out from the ship and seeing a high point on the land, think, “That would be a good spot to get some pictures.” As a result, we often find ourselves searching out trails leading up to these high points of land. Here in New Zealand these trails are often called “tracks”. We have found a few of them.

Instead of purchasing the high priced Ship Approved Excursions, we often just walk off and explore on our own, and often on these self-guided tours we find these New Zealand “tracks” calling for our attention. They have proven to be very worthwhile side trips.

Our first “track” was in Hawaii, where we hiked up to the top of Diamond Head, but I already
A Great View!
told you about that, and on Hilo, (Still Hawaii) we hiked to the Akaka Falls. On Pago Pago we tried to find the trail to a National Park, but never found it. On Dravuni Island in Fiji, we hiked to the highest point on the mountain for terrific views over the whole island. In Easo Lifou, New Caledonia we found a track up to a lovely little church on a cliff overlooking the island. In Noumea, New Caledonia, while walking around the town I discovered stairs leading to a track again up to a high point giving another excellent view of the town.

Once we reached New Zealand we discovered that what we were doing was following
Climbing in "Stile"
“Tracks”, and I already told you about the great tracking we did in Port Chalmers, where we found two tracks that kept us from visiting Dunedin. Then in Akoroa after a morning exploring the town we found a track leading up a hillside occupied by “Haggis on the hoof” where we found another Noordam couple enjoying the beautiful view over the town’s harbour.

Switchback to get to the top
By this time we were really getting into this “tracking” around, and in Picton, New Zealand we headed directly to a marked track that led up a mountain to look-offs and down to Bob’s Bay, named after a man who created this track by hand many years ago. This was probably the longest track we took and led to fantastic views out over the area. Wellington had wonderful views but we took a tour and the bus took us up the ‘Tracks”, and although we had a track all mapped out in Napier, we ended up in Jail (Just a tour; don’t fret!).

It was worth the climb
By the time we reached Auckland, we were ready for some easier tracking and I was only too happy to allow my cousin and her husband to drive us up the tracks to get the views over Auckland.

However, after all our tracking over the South Pacific Islands, I think we managed to counteract the wonderful meals on the cruise ship . . . . our clothes still fit.

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