#28daysofwriting Day 22: Footsore but a good sort of tired

View of Waikato River through the trees in the bushFoot sore, muscle weary, tired but a good sort of tired.  Isn’t it strange that the sort of tired that comes of being outdoors in beautiful countryside even if you have walked up hill and down hill for 36km in high temperatures is a totally different sort of tired that comes from working all day within four walls of a building?  Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching, I love being a teacher. The excitement I still get when kids have that “ahaa!” moment, the interaction in and out of the classroom with students, the conversations with colleagues more than make up for the stress of jumping through hoops but “brain tired” is just never as good as “body tired”.

This weekend was our “peak” training weekend for the Oxfam Trailwalk; back to back walks, 17km on Saturday afternoon followed by 36km on Sunday.  We tried to simulate the actual trail by walking from Waotu South on the Waikato River Trail to Mangakino.  3km down hill to the river and then up and down, meandering along the river bank along the mountain bike tracks.  We had a plan to jog the downs and walk the flats and ups and it seemed to work.  The river trail is beautiful;  leafy, shady bush, soft pine needle strewn paths, the call of cicadas and birds,  glimpses of glassy reflective waters through tall trees and a stillness in the air.  There is no better way of relaxing even if we were walking at an average speed of 6.5km an hour.

Plunging into the lake at Mangakino brought very welcome relief to our hot, tired muscles and I am still feeling the effects today.  But one rest day is all I get, back to it tomorrow!  Only 33 sleeps!

a team of four women standing in front of the trail map at the start of a trail
Pat and the Posties

#28daysofwriting Day 7: Weekly Photo Challenge

Ok a double whammy today.  Two birds with one stone.  Occasionally I have a go at the WordPress Postaday photo challenge and this week’s subject matter of “Scale” appealed to me so I thought I would have a go.

We were all doing our own thing today as regards training so I, given that I didn’t have to keep up with anyone, I set off with the theme of scale in mind and kept my eye out for appropriate subject matter.  I walk along the mighty river Waikato.  The longest river in New Zealand that flows through Hamilton, affectionately known as “The Tron”. (but nobody seems to know why and a Google search reveals some strange responses, this one from the “uncyclopaedia” being the most bizarre but also most amusing). The well-used path follows the river sometimes on boardwalks and sometimes on concrete paths.  It takes you through the heart of the city, through the bush in the outskirts where there are natural reserves and through Hamilton’s world famous gardens which are beautiful and full of families picnicking, enjoying the flowers, playing games and enjoying the many festivals especially on Sundays holiday weekends like this one.

My walk takes me across two of the bridges, and as I looked down the river I saw a small rowing boat pulled up on the banks in front of the Rowing Club.  The Waikato is a river used by rowers.  Every morning and evening in the summer you can hear the calls of the support boats as the crews train.  Eights, Fours and Pairs from all the local secondary schools, doing the hard yards, oars in and oars out in unison, bodies moving as one as they power down the river.

The Mighty Waikato and a tiny row boat.

Looking down the river from a bridge you can see a small white rowing boat pulled up on the right hand side on the beach.  It is a beautiful clear blue sunny day.

Onwards I walked.  As I climbed the hill out of the gardens and past the cemetery to the trig point, I spotted a pine cone lying on the ground next to the tree from which it had fallen.  That too looked like a possibility.  The seed, the future tree next to its parent, the majestic pine tree.

pine tree trunk with a pine cone on the ground to the right.

I picked the cone up thinking I might find another place for it although I rather like the photo of it next to its parent tree.  A few yards further on there is a view point across the river and out to the Waikato.  The juxtaposition of the small pine cone against the backdrop of the river, the Waikato scenery and Pirongia in the distance was appealing.

A view out across a landscape with mountains in the background.  A small pinecone lies on the grass in the foreground.

I am still unsure which of these photos I prefer. Maybe I’ll let you decide. Make a comment and let me know.