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September 12, 2020 September 2020 No Comments

 Putangirua Pinnacles Pickle

It was an overcast day with no wind when we arrived at the Putangirua Pinnacles car park. Three of our party chose to go fishing instead of walking. The remaining five of us set off up the stream bed for 15 minutes or so until we got to the turn off to climb up through the bush. There must have been a flood when the Wairarapa had heavy rain about two weeks before the trip, as there were bushes uprooted, and the track on the stream bed was pretty much gone.

We walked on up, muddy in places, and stopped for morning tea by the seat. At this point one of our party, probably very wisely as it turned out, left us, taking the path down to the pinnacles and back down the stream to the cars. The rest of us admired the pinnacles from above, and carried on uphill to the top track. The 4 wheel drive track was slippery and muddy and had lots of water in it so we tried to avoid slipping over as much as we could.

None of us had been this way for a while, and the track appeared to be a little different from what we remembered. However, we came to a large DOC triangle marker which led to a stile, and a track beside a stream, as we had expected, so we started down the track until it disappeared entirely! Instead of a track, we were faced with piles of debris, torn out bushes, fallen trees, tree roots, and slippery muddy banks, obviously from recent floods. Finally we took to the stream bed in an effort to make better progress.

The route was really challenging, but as retreating wasn’t really an option at that stage, we contuinued our scramble for about 2 hours till we finally heard traffic noise, and knew we were nearly out.

We had only paused for snacks, so it was great to get out and have a cup of tea, finish our lunch, and admire the 8 sharks and a conga eel caught by the fishermen.

We consoled ourselves with the thought that it’s often the unpleasant trips that make good stories afterwards!

Don’t let this article put you off – SWTC welcomes new members! Phone or email Ed and Juliet Cooke, 304 9497, efjac@xtra.co.nz, if you are interested in joining the club for an outing, or just want a bit more information.

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