Friday, 18 October 2013

A 2 Day Treck from...

two weeks ago...
Well I must say that despite my apparent big re-emergence on blogger post I have not actually been that present. actually I haven't even worked much on my models which is another thing I expected I would be doing.
Well anyway onto the big adventure. you see before the recent two week holidays, vacation, time out of school with study and some fun thrown in, my friend and I thought it would be cool to go on a hike in the hills. He and his family have just come back from a 6 month world tour (not your usual one though) and Miles himself did a 30 day hike up in Alaska with a group of boys and their instructors hiking and practising survival skills in the Alaskan wilderness.
Anyway it was decided (i.e. our parents found out our plans and then re-made them for us :-P) that we would walk in the beautiful Coromandel ranges. it was great two days walking along trails kept clear only by the walkers who use it and the occasional DOC official. we had to ration our food, climb under and over innumerable fallen trees, go around many obstacles (and then find the path again), cook our own food and carry all our supplies, sleeping bags, and equipment on our backs.... in short Great fun and even Greater exercise.
well that there is table top mountain and this place was the start of what was to be our great adventure

Our trip ran from the Kauaeranga Valley along the middle of the three main westward running tramping tracks up to Crosbies hut and then down out of the hills to Te Puru. Miles and I had chosen the path (well which of the three tracks to start at and which of the three possible places to end up at) and along with getting all our gear sorted and going back over our map skills (he had learnt in Alaska, I got top of Level 1 Geography at school, so we were pretty good in that department) and what to do in an emergency (Miles had learnt what to do there, I had a rough idea what to do) we were ready to go (except I didn't have hiking boots but my old munted "dog walking" trainers rose to the challenge)!

 At 10-10 am on Monday the 7th of October we set off on our big adventure the first day of walking ahead of us... roughly 5 hours we were told. or was it we would get there at 5 pm????
A view of table top mountain taken later on that day. as you can see we have moved quite far as we are now looking at the mountain from a completely different angle
a view taken slightly later on that day. our view of the mountain helped us greatly in our attempts to determine how far along the track we were.

if you can see the bottom down there you might also be able to tell that this was an overhang... not a nice thing to realise when this is a good track and one you'd think would be in a safe(er) place.

A big bracket fungus.

a look back the track... can you see where it goes?

well after hours of debate we finally reach the join between our track (which had already joined another track) and the third track, now its just a short leg to the hut (a short 2 and a half hours)


urr not sure what we're looking at here.

Is this a repeated picture???? yes it is. I thought I had deleted them all :-?

getting close now. its been a long walk up the sides of some pretty steep hills and along some really difficult paths, this is not the sort of walk for people who are not to sure of their fitness.

as you can see I am not that good a photographer.
we got to the Cabin at 3pm... so if it was a prediction of arriving at 5pm we got there very early, if it was 5 hours we got there on time.

the view of Table top mountain from the hut! completely different view from here.
 Anyway Table top mountain had never been that far away and the view from the hut was great. Miles and I had a debate whether it would be cooler if there had been a James Bond style base (my idea) or Giant Castle (Miles' idea) on top... What would you choose?
far off in the distance can be seen Coromandel town! a really cool little place.
 looking roughly north towards Coromandel town.
some information about the hut... if your interested you can always look it up.
 The hut itself is very modern, and well insulated, which was good as it was very exposed on top of the hill.
very interesting little place, good thing those winows were double glassed.
 We were joined later on my two other guys who had come the same way as us. we had last seen them at Orange peel corner (and there was orange peel there) I did get a picture of them and Miles but I was not sure if they were too keen of my sharing the photo (it's their choice and I shall respect that)
there are the bunks. that's one of my dry bags which were inside the Giant back-pack.
 most of the time was passed just looking out the windows. I had bought my binoculars which meant we were able to tell that it was Coromandel town in the distance. anyway later as night drew on we boiled some water and had our pot noodles and soup, we had brought things that would last well and keep well.... the other guys had bacon, pasta, milk?, chocolate pudding things and other nice food... we were clearly over prepared for quite an easy walk. They also had toilet paper for the long drop, which we didn't and Miles dearly wished we had brought (our parents had convinced us it was not a good idea to bring it). Fortunately for myself I never had to worry about a lack of toilet paper for the 2 days we were out there.... actually thanks to avoiding using the school toilets I didn't have to worry about a lack of toilets for the duration of our walk on the first day.
sunset on day one

just another shot... for good measure. over the hills there, somewhere, roughly, is Waiuku.

And that concludes day one of our adventure! sleep that night was not so easy as one of the other two guys who joined us in the cabin that night snored all night long. Poor Miles didn't get much sleep and was tired the next morning.

good Morning table top mountain
 We got up quite early on day 2, around 6:30-6:50 instead of the planned 7:30 which was quite good as the sunrise was incredible, as I said earlier I am not a good photographer but mother nature provided some very beautiful and easy to take shots that dawn.
I was really happy with this shot.

and this one.
 as the sun rose steadily we got ready for another day! We had our breakfast... just add Milk/water (in our case water) porridge. I had two flavours, golden syrup and cinnamon, which I combined (bad idea). Miles had two golden syrup ones and was fine but mine was horrible and I had to eat is slowly to keep it down... and then it got cold and adding more hot water made it worse so it had to go.
really nice (unlike breakfast)

Coromandel in the morning mist.
 After a tiny breakfast, that was really unpleasant we took our time in getting ready... and at 8 am (10 past to be precise) we were off! day two was predicted to be a 5-6 hour long walk from the hut to the coast. before the trek we had measured the distance and day two was meant to be shorter than day one but that was before we actually encountered the terrain.
our state of preparedness rose higher in sync with the sun.
anyway it was great to get going. and any aches and pains from the day before were soon forgotten (we intended to make them worse :-P) I had bad rubbing on my collar bones as my back pack was borrowed... and meant for women so it really didn't fit me, but there was no alternative so the sore shoulders we necessary.
first marker not far from the hut.

A last look at table top mountain

and the hut (really hard to see) I don't think table top mountain is in shot here.
 Now you might not expect this but on the top of these steep and rugged hills there is just enough flat land for some really nasty bogs to be produced. this slowed us right down, and made the path the last thing we wanted to step on.
fortunately the path was like this often enough to make this a walk not a swim.
 We got to the second marker after 1 hour and 30 minutes. up until that point we had been counting markers and had reached around 400! so we decided not to carry on.
3 hours to go! and one and a half hours done...
 anyway after the marker we again descended into a boggy bit, but then climbed back up and into the trees
A HUGE KAURI tree, incredibly thousands once grew here but loggers cleared these steep and wild hills almost completely in the 19th and early 20th centuries, nearly all the tree's we'd walked through were either high enough to survive or re-grouth
heading down the hills, we'd only stopped once ages ago and were getting really hungry (we had trail mix but we were saving it up for what we thought would be a descent leg to go after the first river crossing.

Anyway sooner we descended back down the hills and into the valley that would take us back to civilisation. at our first river crossing we got out the stove again and had some more noodles. it was around 1 and we thought we might get there around 2 the predicted time of arrival.

Miles crossing the river, it was really nice here, so quiet and it felt so far from civilisation yet is was so close.

This is why New Zealand is used in so many films, people are everywhere but so few in number that the wilderness is easy to access.
 After the first river crossing we got out of our boots and shoes, removed the bottoms of our trekking pants to make them shorts (there is a zip, we didn't break them) and I put on my sandals and Miles his crocks and we carried on... we thought we had around 40 minutes to go, we actually had much less.

after we crossed. I had to balance to take this photo.
 it only felt like a few minutes and after crossing the river only once more we turned around the corner and saw across the next river crossing my parents waiting to take us home. Half an hour early we crossed the river one last time and all to soon we were back in the civilised world.
Miles and I  after our little adventure. (can you tell I am tired, I'm on the right of the photo for all who did not know)
Well it was good fun! and I would definitely do it again! Perhaps after exams are done and dusted Miles and I and perhaps some other friends can go on a 3 day hike! Certainly a great experience and it was great to get off the computer and away from computer games although Miles and I did think that the terrain would make a fun map for one of my games.... as for the slipping up tolls. 2 to me and 5 to miles.

hope your having a great day/night everyone! Sorry if I have missed posts but I have been either doing important things related to school and several university applications (boring and complicated), playing games (far to much) or prefect stuff. anyway hopefully I can get things sorted out but until then I hope you've enjoyed this incredibly pic heavy post

Thursday, 3 October 2013

More Metal!!!! Winttrix work and my own

well folks I have more to show you. some really cool figures here, ones that I really wanted to get and as you imagine when I found them in the box from Winttrix (Emmett) I was really happy. I'll go through what's mine and his (well which one of use painted them) and hopefully you'll like them. I must say that the figs he painted here arrived with a bit to quite a large amount of paint missing so I have done my very best to fix them up again... I must say that parts that I have done are quite easily spotted, well I assume so as I am colour blind and if I can tell you should be able to as well.

anyway onwards!!!
these first four figures are all my own work. on the right we have some special forces painted up for the desert, Oronegro having a very large mostly autonomous arid region to the south (I have yet to upload those maps... sorry...). On the left he have some figs I was really excited to get, helicopter gunners! Or if you like some advanced soldiers, no matter who they are I'm sure they'll find many uses.
all together then the camouflaged guns is an experiment on my part.

these guys do look scary but that makes them so much better.

you can't tell but I thought it was about time to experiment with skin tones, the marksman is Afro Caribbean (just to be interesting)
 Now out of the following three guys 2 are by Winttrix (Emmett) and one is by myself. I am sure you can tell which is which.
in the foreground we have the two figures by Emmett the pants on the guy on the right had to be totally redone and the helmet and other parts of the guy on the left needed re-painting

now my figure, yes he's got a ginger moustache, like my physics teacher who is now a proud father. his partner giving birth to a lovely baby girl named Aurora a few weeks ago (P.S his magazine matches his moustache, now who can claim that?)

all three from another angle
well there you have it folks another post. I am not able to follow everyone's blogs right now so I apologise for that. its the holidays right now so really just a time to kick back and study (bugger) though only 2 hours a day so I am not too busy.

Also I have a new follower greetings to Toma from tomas minis world. nice to have you here.
anyway good day/night everyone!