Sunday, February 03, 2008
First steps down the river
I have had a long-held dream to travel the Ruamahanga River, the river that defines our region. When local Maori talk about their identity they talk about their mountain, the river and their iwi (tribe). For me, I belong to Taratahi (Mount Holdsworth), my river is the Ruamahanga and I am proudly Ngati Pakeha ki Wairarapa – a white person of Wairarapa.
Today I took the firsts steps towards realizing that goal when I joined six members of the Masterton Tramping Club(seven if you include Jess the dog) in a trip down the river from Cleft Creek.
To achieve this we set off at 8.00, to walk in from the road end at Mount Bruce, just off the main highway. We walked across farmland and then through beautiful bush, for about three hours before we reach Cleft Creek.
We then tramped/clambered/rock-hopped/rubber-tubed our way back down the river for about five hours. It was stunning day and a great way to start the challenge that will, hopefully, result in a book on the river.