Lowry Bay Ė Eastbourne
June 4 2006
Itís not easy leaving home when the weather forecast is off-putting. If I hadnít had to lead this trip I probably wouldnít have gone. But Iím glad that others turned up and I did have to go, for I think we all enjoyed it.
Rainproof parkas were donned as we met at Cheviot Road in Lowry Bay to walk up the track to the ridge. A short detour to a lookout gave misty views of the Hutt Valley, but with the dampness deterring us from an early morning tea stop, we plodded on till we reached the welcome seat on Lowry for brunch. At the junction of the Kereru track to Williams Park in Days Bay we went onwards and upwards, admiring the bright new orange markers which made finding our way an easy matter. Possum control in this area is also making a difference, with much tui song to brighten our day.
Brunch didnít dampen a desire for a lunch stop so we ate again before continuing over Hawtrey. It was still early afternoon when we were faced with a choice: to go down to Butterfly Creek and hence to Eastbourne via the Kowhai or Bus Barn track or to take a shorter route via either the Muritai or Mackenzie track. The latter option won out ... Iíve led this trip once before, in August 2005, and the consensus then was much the same. But the Mackenzie highway was a slippery clay slope compared with the route over Hawtrey, where soft earth and exposed tree roots make the going much more pleasant on a wet day. It was only 2.30pm when we strolled into an Eastbourne cafe to fi nish our tramp in civilised style.
We caught the 3.25pm no. 81 bus, and while the others disembarked at Lowry Bay to reunite with cars, I stayed on the bus until it reached Lambton Quay.
With reasonably frequent Eastbourne services, this tramp lends itself well to public transport, although admittedly itís more attractive if, like me, youíre over 60 and can get an all-day $4 ticket for travel on Wellington and Hutt Valley buses. Thatís a real bargain.
- Fi Coster, John McIvor, Pat Reesby (leader/scribe), Lesley Smith, Ingrid Snoek.