The weather has finally started to turn. We are now having longer days and nicer weather. We have several activities planned that are coming up soon. We are running Queenstown again in just over a month. I'm under prepared, but I'll be able to finish another marathon. Beth is doing the half this year. The week after I'm pushing myself to do a 160km cycle around Lake Taupo. I've been spending a fair amount of time trail running and mountain biking. I need to switch over to the road bike as I've got about 6 weeks until the long ride. We are still swimming and climbing in Taupo.
Beth and I did a relay from Paeroa to Thames along the Hauraki Rail Trail. It was my old stomping grounds and we met up with Kat and Garth for a coffee. Kat is busy training for a multi-day swim race in the US and Garth recently had ACL surgery. Some of the Auckland Mountain Bike crew came down for a ride around Craters of the Moon and the Redwoods. It was a good weekend topped off with a trip to Tauranga to buy a BBQ. I happened to find one on TradeMe and it allowed me to say hi to some friends I haven't seen in awhile. However, having a charcoal BBQ this summer is going to be interesting. Since we live in a rural area, we are subject to a rural fire ban. I get to apply for a 2 week permit that allows me to start a BBQ between 7am and 3pm and have it out by nightfall. I'm looking forward to smoking some ribs, brisket, and lamb shanks.
We are doing the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk next weekend. It's also our first national holiday in about 5 months. There are 7 of the ninjas going out to hike 46kms over 3 days. Banu is nursing a knee issue and hasn't been to any of our training sessions so this might be interesting. In preparation, we have done several day hikes of various distances and elevations as a group. This past weekend, Beth and I took our new aarn packs out for just shy of a half marathon (20.4 km). A few others from Auckland did a tramp in the Waitakere Range.
The Auckland crew are coming down Friday afternoon and we'll leave from here early Saturday morning. We are starting by Tuai and ending by Anikiwa. 2 of us will be shuttled from the local holiday park (secure free parking) to the trail head and then picked up by a water taxi at noon on Monday and then driving back to the trail end to pick up the 5 who get to do the whole trail. It should also be interesting as some also have never done a multi-day tramp before. They are still busy buying and organizing gear. I've been asked to provide a list of gear that should be taken with. This should take care of someone forgetting vital gear like a rain jacket. We are in New Zealand after all.
What else are we up to? I've planted a garden recently and it makes me remember my Grandfather and his garden. My garden is no where as big as his was, but I've got rosemary, coriander/cilantro, basil, spinach, lettuce, zucchini, hot and sweet peppers, beans, and peas. On a daily basis, I've taken to pulling extraneous grass from the bed as well as watering. The rain isn't coming that frequently as its no longer winter and the hot sun dries the soil out by midday. Lots of seeds have started to sprout and come Christmas time we'll be having quite a bit of fresh produce. I hope that Bill and Betsy will be able to help us eat the produce.
We've gotten the kayaks out recently, but we have a lot more kayaking to do if we are going to take on the Whanganui Journey this summer. This will be one of next adventures, but we have Betsy and Bill visiting in December. We are hosting Peter's family for a couple days in January. We have to be up in Auckland a few times in December for holiday parties and someone is looking at getting her eyes corrected. January we are diving White Island and mountain biking Hawke's Bay. So I guess we better get Beth out on a MTB soon.