The Leslie-Karamea

 With all the huts and distances.
Sign on Tablelands

The final stage of Daughter of Moosey's North West Nelson Loop Trip starts above Balloon Hut, on the Tablelands, goes off down the Leslie and Karamea Rivers, and rejoins the Wangapeka Track. It's the final stage of my 2012 summer couch-hiking trip. High time I got back to the garden...

During the first three stages of the Loop Trip interviews, Daughter had become more and more verbose, giving me more and more details to write down. Thus I wondered how long it would take, in the interviewing sense, to get down the Leslie-Karamea, finish the Wangapeka Track (where it all began), and plod with her out to the road end. I took a deep breath. This couch-hiking is hard work!

Tell me about the Leslie Karamea...

 Now these I do find a little bit scary.
Karamea Suspension Bridge
 Just stopping to say hello!
Helicopter at Thor Hut
 Nearly the end.
Camping on Biggs Tops
Above the Karamea

'And I suppose that's when you rang your Mum?' I asked. I'd been the back-up contact person and I'd taken my role very seriously. 'Um - no.' confessed Daughter. "I had a shower first at the camping ground (the best three dollars I've ever spent), we picked up the car, we went to the cafe and ate lots of yummy food... And then I rang my Mum.'

 Thanks to Daughter and Husband for letting me tag along.
The End of the Loop Trip

I was so excited and relieved to get that phone call. Twenty-two days in the mountains is a long enough time to get into trouble, I reckon! The Leslie-Karamea section of the Loop Trip has its own haiku, written in Daughter's diary amongst her scribbly bullet-point notes.

Thus ended the fourth and final stage of Daughter's Loop Trip, starting and finishing at the road end of the Wangapeka Track, by Tapawera. It took twenty-two days, with two intermediate stops to pick up food. The tramping party consisted of just two - Daughter and Husband (who appears in many of the photographs, and whose route-finding skills are to be applauded). They tramped approximately 290 kilometres beside rivers, along ridges, across screes, over tussock downs, up spurs, around lakes... Their gear and supplies were carefully weighed and listed, and they took dehydrated meals. I had a spread-sheet outlining where they expected to be, and when, and my own map. And I listened each day to the weather forecast. So I did really do the trip with them...