Back to the War

Ok I’m back, for those who noticed I’ve been away for a few days. Only a few knew exactly where.

However I an back, rested and ready to for the war again.

In my teens I learned how to hunt, and most of my hunting was in the Kaimanawa Ranges, a little bit in the Kawekas, mainly because that bordered the Army exercise area and the sergeant liked his venison. It is 20 years since I last went to the Kaimanawas.

This time I took the missus and kids. The good news is the Kaimanawas are no different except the proliferation of nice camping spots along Clements Hill Road, 27 km east of Taupo turn right off SH 5 (Napier Taupo Road) into Taharua Road and follow for 9.5 km. Turn right into Clements Mill Road – it is 21 km to the end of this road. My favourite spot was always Te Iringa hut but sadly since it burned down a few years back it hasn’t been replaced. The peace and solitude of that up on the tops was wonderful. My second favorite spot was always hard to find, on a tight hair pin and the access to the site was down an overgrown path. That path is now cleared and the spot opened right up, bugger it!

In the end we set up camp right at the end of Clements Hill Road just near the start of the track to Cascade Hut.

As is customary for me I set up my big ex-army fly (ok it was a truck tarp). and the kids set up their tent. Watching that was a barrel of laughs. Then we got the fire going in the nice fire pits that are there now. No paper for my kids, and only a flint and striker. Miss Whaleoil proved adept and starting fires.

The peace and tranquility of nothing but bush noises is wonderful. We stayed there four days with no one around except the occasional hunter heading off to Cascade Hut or further afield.

One day we headed off up the track, it ahs changed, mainly due to windfall re-routes but essentially the same. We went as far as the waterfall, for those who know where it is it is a beautiful spot. All were ordered to have a bath, and let me tell you that water is ball shriveling cold even mid-summer. That was a cool day, literally.

Last night was the coldest I have ever been in the Kaimanawas even beating the days I have slept in the open and been snowed on. So today i also introduced the kids and missus to another Whaleoil hunting tradition. Washing at De Bretts Thermal Resort to get the stink of 4 days in the bush off you. Pure bliss.

I have to say dear readers, being at the end of the road literally, with no cellphone coverage, the Blackberry off, I didn’t think too much about anything other than teaching the kids bush survival and camp skills that I learned many years ago.

My only regret is that I didn’t start doing this earlier with the kids. I was so relaxing to be surrounded by happy memories and to watch the kids trying and failing with the same things I did many years ago. Now I know why the older guys who taught me had such big smiles on their faces.

Anyway I am back, relaxed and ready to get back to slapping pinkos and stabbing politicians in the eyes with pins.