Curves and chocolate on the Escarpment Track EM
Sunday 24 April 2022
We began the Escarpment Track walk at Paekākāriki in near perfect conditions for our Escarpment walk. Eleven trampers turned up. Most came by car, as trains were being replaced yet again by buses on this Sunday.
On the internet, varying estimates were given for the number of steps we'd have to climb or descend, ranging from at least 400 to around 1200! I felt that the higher estimate was probably exaggerated and out of step with the actual number.
The track is 9.1 km long and takes about 3.5 hours. Most find it easier, as we did, to walk north to south, ending up at Pukerua. Our group ambled happily along, parallel to the railway line for the first, level three kilometres.
We passed a rocky area where there were said to be skinks. None were sighted, although most wanted to have a decko at the geckos.
Then followed a climb up short flights of steps and a well-benched track. Kapiti Island stretched out lazily before us on a glittering blue ocean. A cooling breeze was helpful as we toiled onwards and upwards.
At the lookout on the highest point of the walk, we relaxed with morning tea and chocolates. Groups of other walkers, many young and female arrived. There were many curves on the track.
Continuing on, we negotiated the downward steps carefully. There was no rush. Magnificent views were obtained of the South Island in the distance.
A pleasant lunch spot was found at the lower levels, with a picnic table and some shade. We admired the stunted verdure.
While crossing the first swing bridge, our leader's hat was whisked away by an updraft. It was not seen again. This was a bit of a blow.
Soon afterwards, we came upon a detour around a big slip. More climbing was necessary. Handy ropes had been put in place to help us keep upright on the narrow gravelly path.
Soon the finishing line at Pukerua Station was in sight. Some went to have afternoon tea and Anzac biscuits at Jenny's place. Then the train-replacement bus took us back to Paekākāriki to pick up the cars. A very enjoyable walk on a warm and pleasant autumn day.
- Party members
- Judy Alexander, Alan Benge (leader and scribe), Muriel Christianson, Bob Cijffers, Simon Davis, Joanne Gapes, Alan Knowles, Jenny Olsen, Helen Quinlan, Peter Shanahan, Janice Tijsen