The Glen to Cable Bay
We have been wanting to do this stomp for a while. Last time we attempted it, the cloud cover was too dense to continue and as we were unsure what lay ahead (didn't want to lose anyone over a cliff just yet) we turned back.
Another gorgeous weekend (Waitangi) here in Nelson so we took the plunge; only this time poor John had a dodgy knee (someone call that man an Osteopath) so he stayed back with the boy. This was a perfect opportunity for the girls and I to test out our new packs (Me - Vardo gridTECH Women's 75L from Kathmandu, Edie - Osprey Talon 44 & Lily - Osprey Women's Tempest 40 both from Torpedo 7) and make a start on getting "pack fit" whatever that means. Pain largely.
I approached this walk imagining it was up a big hill, across the cliff tops and down the other side. Er, WRONG. It certainly was up a very big hill - straight out on cold legs carrying weight - a couple of grumpy faces. An hour to get up the hill and then a couple more going up and down some more big hills. Ouchy. I like to encourage the girls to "shout it out on the track" or "leave it on the track" when the going gets tough. They can also call on their power animals but I'm not sure they have the hang of that yet.
Once passed the main viewing points we entered a pine forest. Always far quieter here than the native forests. Glad of the shade though.
We soon entered a lovely native forest that is owned and managed by Cable Bay Farm who do an awesome pest control job. The forest was alive with sound of bird song. Heaven.
Then we are out! Views of the sea again. Just give me a moment to catch my breath.
We are heading down there to the campsite - Happy Days. Man that was a steeeeeeeeeep walk down though. Slowly slowly so as not to make a really ungraceful / painful entrance.
Cable Bay Campsite
On the way into camp, I had to warn the girls that it may be fully booked and as I had not yet received a reply to my inquiring email, we may just have to eat, swim and return the way we came. Cue a few tears. Hehe - mean Mummy. Of course, the campsite was fully booked but the lovely owners did not turn us away and we ended up with prime position on the picnic lawn. Perfect.
We pitched our new adventure tent, the Vango Banshee 300. We also have the Vango Banshee 200 which we had in the UK and really liked so decided to stick with them. We bought them both from bivouac.
An awesome tent! Loads of room for three people. My pack stowed away under the outer fly at our heads and was accessible through a little window in the sleeping compartment. Both of the girls packs were easily accommodated on the other side where there is extra storage room alongside the other entrance.
Hot and sweaty, we chipped off to the beach for a swim.
The sea was smooth like glass and the clarity was extraordinary.
Then a tiny walk back to the camp for tea. Even though the campsite has facilities for cooking, we were doing this the full monty and all cooking was to be done on the trusty Trangia. As a "treat" I purchased some freeze dried food from Back Country Cuisine. Well, in order of preference of the three we had: 1st spot goes to Chicken Carbonara, 2nd to Chicken Roast Dinner and 3rd spot (never to be bought again) the Full Breakfast.
Not wanting to retire toooooo early, and boy was I knackered, we trotted off to the beach once more. SO glad we did. The colours and light were truly epic.
Cable Bay to The Glen
After a somewhat disturbed nights sleep and a yucky breakfast, we set off for Glenduan (AKA The Glen) where our trusty van was waiting for us. The promise of a (IMO also yucky) MacDonald's spurring the girls on.
Lovely Jo who runs the campsite let us take a wee side track which enabled us to miss out the monster climb up. This is not to say the climb was easy but it could have been far more painful. The girls could not see this and only registered pain. I must say, my exit from the tent this morning was rather ungainly as my legs tried to remember how to function and then wished they hadn't. As always, the first climb is the hardest. Again on cold legs with added soreness to boot.
Edie was diligently searching for a pine cone which had landed perfectly in a cow pat which she had spotted on the way to Cable Bay. She was stoked to find it unsullied on the way back. It's the little things when you are tramping. That and the ever present food discussions.
Then, we are out of the forests and on our way back down.
Stinky and sore (but very happy) we make our way home. Nothing a good feed, bath and rub won't sort out. Have absolutely loved our girls only adventure and will definitely have more, such great bonding time.
A little side note on the packs. I found mine pretty comfortable but the straps are a little stiff. I imagine they'll soften with use. For Lily, we had to search really hard for this pack as I wanted her to have an adjustable one as she has such a short back a standard tramping pack was way too big for her. We were really pleased to find this one. She was grand going out with it but was suffering a bit on the shoulders coming back. I think this is more that she has to learn the intricate adjustments to make herself as she walks. Edie was fine with hers. I think they are great packs for kids. Time will tell more.