The Routeburn Track

For #treesquare today we’re in New Zealand and tramping (hiking) the Routeburn Track.

I blame Bear Grylls.

Although, to be fair, he didn’t start it – not really.

It was the guy that we dropped off at Glenorchy that day back in February 2013 on the Nomad Safari tour that really started the germ of the idea. Then Julie, our guide that day, started talking about the tramping she’d done, and the germ of the idea sprouted into something a little more.

That night, over dinner at Botswana Butchery and some excellent Otago pinot noir, my friend and I talked about the guy we’d dropped off and how he was doing the walk independently. We wondered about the training that would have gone into getting ready for the tramp, and just how heavy his pack looked.

Then, on the flight home, I saw the Bear Gryll’s Air NZ safety video. It was set on the Routeburn Track and that sprout of an idea made it’s way to the surface.

I told my husband about it.

‘Your back is too sore,’ he said. ‘How are you going to carry a pack for three days and 40kms?’

I’d thought about that. ‘There’s a posh tour you can do,’ I said. ‘You don’t have to carry in your sleeping things or food- you just need clothes for the walk and the two nights at the lodge. They say about 10kgs.’

‘But you don’t like camping and share accommodation,’ he said.

‘These are proper lodges,’ I explained. ‘They have beds and running water.’

‘What about your knees?’ he asked. ‘You’re always complaining about them.’

‘I’ll train for it and drop at least 10kgs,’ I said.

So, the Routeburn Track was added to my bucket list. And then in February 2014, I tramped it.

The experience has been very much on my mind lately as I’ve been writing The Little Cafe By The Lake. The Routeburn Track, you see, features in it.

Some of the descriptions I used in that novel came straight from my journal from that time.

If you want to know more about the track you can find the whole series of posts here.

I’m linking up with Becky this month for her tree squares challenge where we post photos of trees, any trees, in square format. You’ll find Becky’s most recent post here. Oh, and given that I’m pretty much posting daily and you’ll probably get bored with pictures of trees in square formats, feel free to skim on by – I won’t be offended.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

21 thoughts

  1. Oh how neat! My husband wants to hike the Appalachian trail here in the US but I am a day hiker– no packs or sleeping on the ground for me either (and pretty much it sounds like the only way to do it).

      1. okay day 3 sound a bit easier but then I have a phobia about falling when going down hill so not sure I’d have done this either!!!!

      2. I have a massive thing about picking my way down hills. It was the worst part of Milford Track – the long, steep downhill. I was constantly scared I’d trip and fall and need to be helicoptered out.

      3. loving your summary, and I agree nature does talk to you if you go slow enough and are quiet. It is one of the reasons that Robert and I don’t join walking groups in Portugal. They are either like those runners you saw going to fast to properly see anything around them, or they are chattering so much that nature hides away. Like you I would have enjoyed walking alone, just not sure I’d have been able to have done this route!

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