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Thursday, June 2, 2011

There's Platinum in These Hills!

My oh my.  How the time is speeding by.  It’s June!!  It’s just surreal to me.  What do you mean I’ve been here for four months?  What kind of joke is that?  *sigh*  As you can probably tell I’m just a little frazzled by the complete lack of time I have left here.  22 days.  The past 31 have gone by in the blink of an eye!  And I can tell you already that this next month is going to do the same. 
Tomorrow is the last day of classes here at Massey Palmerston North.  Next week is a full week dedicated to studying and the two weeks following belong to exams.  You know what that means?  I have exactly three days within the next three weeks that I have plans.  June 14, June 16, and June 18.  The last two on which I have two exams a piece.  This free time would be absolutely awesome except for my complete and utter lack of money.  That’s alright though; it just means spontaneous activities are more plausible now.  Oh!  And I need to pack.  I guess I’ll devote my last two days here to that.
To steer away from that depressing (at least to me) topic, I will tell you about my most recent weekend.  On Saturday May 28 I went with a portion of MUAC (Massey University Alpine Club) and did a tramp into the nearby wilderness.  If you can call it wilderness…  Anyways, we walked the Sledge Track, about 20 minutes from campus. 
I don’t have a whole lot to say about the whole trip.  I can tell you there were around 700 stairs one way (yes I counted), it was super muddy, and it took us around 6 hours to complete the circuit.  The first stopping point of the trek was at a river.  There were some really nice boulders there, which I decided to climb.  I was doing well until I slipped and bashed my knee on the top of it.  That would have lasting effects throughout the day.  I had a nice view of the river, though.
From there we set off again, not breaking for more than two minutes until we reached the summit of a hill.  Due to the utter exposure up there, and the intense wind at the time,
it was decided to keep going back into the bush in order to stop for lunch.  It was a very nice lunch, too.  We started moving again after about half an hour or so.  This time we were on the lookout for some of the platinum mines that some farmer decided to prospect in in the early 1900s.  The mine shafts weren’t all that big, just enough to get into, but they were pretty fun.  A couple of them even had glowworms and cave weta. 
After a couple nice group shots-
we were off again.  We took a different track to get back to the carpark.  It was a pretty nice track, except the hunters we came across.  We did, however, find a place to take a snooze.  We even came across a nice specimen of the largest species of moss.
We eventually made our way back to the first summit.  From there it was back down the original track, all 700 muddy steps of it.  We reached the river again without any serious damage, though there were a couple of near misses.  A couple of crazies decided it was a perfect time to go for a swim, and they proceeded to try to convince the rest of us the same.
Let’s just say we didn’t believe them.  The last leg of our journey, the walk back to the carpark, passed nice and quietly.  We posed for one more group shot before dispersing back to whence we came. 
Despite the mud and the wind and the stairs and the injured knee, overall it was a very nice day.  But, of course, as per our style, it wasn’t over yet.  We had a nice group dinner up at Kaleb’s place that evening.  It involved nice conversation, some vicious rounds of bananagrams, and some intense arm wrestling.  What?  Don’t you do that at your dinner parties?