Hills everywhere

14 01 2011

My first day in New Zealand started with a not so gentle warm up in the form of a walk up from Lyttleton to the Gondola on the top of Summit Road, which runs along the top of the Port Hills just south of Christchurch, then along the top to the WWII gun enplacements where I got a DNF on Kiss Kiss. Bang Bang. Then I walked back down to Lytleton collecting my first NZ cache on this trip at A Lyttle Frightened. The climb is from sea level to 445 metres in just over 1.5km I then followed this the day after with four caches in the Bowendale Valley side of Summit Road that had terrain ratings of 3 and 4 and also involved a lot of slogging up and down steep paths. Caitlin’s Choice was a D3.5/T4 and together with Rockers Rumble as a D4/T4, and which entailed a walk up a parallel valley, gave me two new D/T combinations that I need if I am going to meet one of my 2011 targets.

On the next day as the weather had turned cold and damp I took a drive out to Cave Stream and Castle Hill Rocks. Both are located on highway 73, which runs from Christchurch to Greymouth on the west coast. At both places were earthcaches so I didn’t need to do a lot of climbing.

DS8300 standing in mouth of cave at Cave Stream

It was great fun clambering around on the rocks at Kura Tawhiti the Maori name for Castle Hill Rocks. There are some amazing limestone formations up there.

DS8300 at Castle Hill Rocks

Between the two was Thomas the Dragon which was a D2.5/T4 so I had a wee hill to climb to grab that cache and fill in yet another D/T combination. On the way back to Christchurch I grabbed a couple of simple caches including one at a very non-descript location that was the epicentre of the September 7.9 earthquake in which my friends house was rendered uninhabitable. It was a surreal experience.

During the early days of geocaching an Australian cacher lived in Christchurch and created a dozen or so really creative and challenging caches. Over the years I have found most of them.
On the day after my earthcache hunt I managed to tick one more off the list. Sign of the Polar Bear. This entailed solving a puzzle that had me scratching my head for a few years before a local Christchurch cacher Grandalf gave me a clue. The puzzle was solved over a year ago but I didn’t get chance to find the cache on my last trip. This year I was determined to do it. It entailed a walk up a hill to the south of Lyttleton Harbour with the name of Mount Herbert. It’s a 919 meter high hill and for my untrained legs and poor physical condition it was a bit of a struggle, but nothing that was really tough. When I got to the summit I was hit by freezing winds so I logged the find and took some photos before hightailing it downhill to get some respite from the wind.

Signed log book with Lyttleton in the background 900m below

My first week here was rounded off by finding Scouting out a Bonus, a D1/T5 cache located close to the Waimakariri river. The T5 was given because an MTB should have been used. I bush bashed instead, but it was easier going terrain than the previous days T3.5.




One response

25 02 2011
Geocaching – NZ « Halléns Geocachingäventyr

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