Tukituki River to Khyber Pass, Ruahine Forest Park, Wednesday February 12 2014.
The day smiled at us; warm, a gentle breeze and some sunshine. We travelled in the usual hire van with Kelvin as our usual driver, along the usual route to Mill Road. The starting point for this tramp is where people have started out previously to Daphne Hut or Hinerua Hut, walking upstream, whereas we headed downstream to Khyber Pass.
A few had done the trip before but not for a long time. Vic was very keen to set his eyes on the gorge again. We had lots of rock-hopping, and river crossings. The valley slowly narrowed and took us past an old caravan set up for weekend retreats, an overturned trailer, a special flower growing off a darkened bank that Paul thought he knew the botanical name of, and some deep pools.
We had lunch just on the other side of the gorge, wading thigh-deep through the water to get there. The gorge was worth seeing, with its steep sides. I’m surprised that all the water can get through there when the river is in flood.
Some of us swam on the way back. People were very convivial and very nimble. There were no falls or tumbles into the river, and everyone chatted as they walked and then had their moments of communing with nature.
We were all back in Napier by 5pm.
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, Vic Bullock, John Marshall, John Burrell, Cheryl Bruce, Peter Slagter, Steve Woulf, Paul Exeter, Gordon Tapp, Gill Waiting, Jennie Porter and reporter Hilary Heath-Caldwell