Rory Gardiner's Webpage

08, Jul, 2009

Wednesday 8th July 2009


We have covered Taranaki from the mountain to the sea today.  It was cold last night and we woke this morning to a clear view of snow covered Mount Taranaki and the Pouakai range.  Of course this called for a last minute change of plans as we hurried to get ready and reach the snow.  We walked up the North Egmont side of the mountain, and the conditions were completely different to two days ago.  The sun was shining and it was crisp, clear and still.  Once we got moving it wasn't even cold.  It was almost soundless on the mountain, all you could hear was the drip drip drip of melting ice and snow, the scrunch of our footsteps, and the call of tui.  It was magical.  There was ice in the top carpark and it got thicker, eventually succumbing to snow, as we climbed up towards the Puffer.  We stopped on the track to make a snowman.  The boys enjoyed eating ice off the plants and making giant snowballs.  When we descended to the DoC Visitors Centre at lunchtime the boys greedily drank their hot chocolates. 

This afternoon we headed onto Back beach with Nana, Uncle Guy and cousins Sacha and Corbyn.  The plan was to walk south along the beach to Tapuae Stream where there are two great driftwood huts and where we had left a car for the return trip but the going was rockier than we thought.  I was given a hard time about whether the tide was coming in or going out.  I have been known, on occasion, to get us into hairy situations but I timed it right today, low tide was 4pm.  We got about half way to Tapuae then had to turn back as the going was a bit hard with the buggy, and for Rory to walk.  The children loved being on the beach, there was much activity; running races, kicking a ball, collecting shells, exploring the rock pools, wading in the water, and drawing in the sand.  Rory walked half way on the mountain this morning, and half way on the beach this afternoon.  He must have covered 3-4 kilometres today which is astonishing given his left side is still weak, his co-ordination is impaired, and his stamina has been drained by surgery and radiotherapy.  He is my inspiration.  I am also very proud of Sam.  His life has changed drastically, Rory is often the centre of attention, needs special care and often requires assistance with activities.  Sam rarely complains and often looks out for, and helps, his brother.  On our way home from the beach we called in for a quick visit to see Auntie Mary, who naughtily plied us with chocolate fish for the trip home, and Auntie Bev and Uncle Dud.  The boys are now in bed and I am wearily collapsed onto Nana and Poppas couch in front of the tv thinking about the trip home tomorrow.