It was perfect walking weather – mild, a slight refreshing breeze, a touch of rain and plenty of cloud cover to shelter from the strong sun.
And with a tired family (Charlotte was performing in a dance show the night before) and a bit too much morning television on waking up, we were getting that over-techno, media-stimulus grump on and needed some nature time.
Charlotte wasn’t keen on a major bush walk, as she had two more dance shows to perform in later that day, but ended up having a stroll to a friend’s house and a play – whilst I walked on with Alice in the back-pack to meet up with Dan and Sophie.
It was just what we all needed. Sophie is nervous again about school tomorrow, but I’ve said I’ll go in and stay with her for a while (which her lovely teacher has invited me to do). Seeing Sophie running free in the bush was such a joy. She has amazing natural energy and loves to be active.
I’ve posted a full account of the walk on Sophie’s blog, as a surprise for her in the morning and to share at news in school, but I’ll put up a few snippets here to0 – as I want to cherish every moment! It really was a lovely walk and I feel incredibly grateful to live with such scenery on my door-step.
You’ve been amazing this weekend. You had a brilliant bike ride with Daddy on Saturday and managed to cycle up a hill too – phew (I don’t think I’d manage that!).
On Sunday you set off on a walk around the headland with Daddy. Meanwhile, I walked down to Princess Bay, where I knew your bush walk would finish. It was raining lightly and a warm morning, perfect for walking. Houghton Bay was so calm and quiet. The seagulls seemed happy, as they were chattering away and gliding on the gentle wind currents.
When I reached the track exit point, and found you were not finished, I started to walk up, into the bush, hoping to meet you and Daddy half way. I was very happy to discover the track had been really well cared for and cleared since last summer. New steps had been put in and signs. The track was so much easier to walk on, which was good for me as it would have been really tough to battle through an overgrown track with Alice on my back (your little sister is getting heavy!).
I called out into the quiet as I climbed higher, hoping my voice would carry to you and Daddy. It didn’t take long before I heard your voices chorusing a ‘Hello’ back to me and Alice.
It was so exciting to see you and Daddy, waiting near the top for me. The views all around were so beautiful and definitely a great reward for climbing up the steep valley.
When we turned to walk down the valley, you were actually a little disappointed that the track was so well cleared – as you like an adventure. You did notice another, over-grown track, leading back up the hill and asked if we could explore. Daddy made you laugh, saying there were saber-toothed tigers and bush trolls that way. He said he’d take you back exploring another day – when he had better gripping shoes and a machete to cut through the bush (and some magic potions)! You were happy with that and continued on down the track, marvelling at the summer flowers and scenery.
When we got to the bay we decided not to take the easy route back home, along the road, but walk back into the bush along another track a little further on. It meant another steep climb up to the top of the headland reserve, before descending down to our home – but you were up for the challenge.
I was so proud of you, leading the way (you really wanted to be the leader too!). At one point you said your legs were getting a little tired, but then – all of a sudden – you got a new burst of energy (maybe it was the sweets hidden in your frog poncho?!).
The track was very steep, but you just kept going. You actually ran up some of the hills! Amazing! What an inspiration you are for your little sister Alice. I think you’ll be like your Auntie Claire and doing triathlons and fell runs when you are older!
We stopped to enjoy the view from the sweet blue, iron bench hiding in the grass, and gave Alice a chance to stretch her little legs in the long grass.
Then we strolled on down the hill to home. What a lovely, lovely walk.
Mummy and Daddy have done some wonderful, long treks together in the past, where we stayed overnight in the middle of the bush or on a mountain-side. One day we hope to take you on some walks like that – but I think you’ll be leading the way and telling us to ‘Hurry up!’.