To recap, we come up a series of ascents toward Careys Bay, through the new(er) Cemetery (see above on a smoky day) on a final push up through the Port Chalmers Town Belt to Scott Memorial and thence onto the Rangi Park track, which summits one of the ridges snaking down from the distant Mount Cargill. You can see part one of this journey here, part two here and part three here. Or just git on to the Photoessay navigation page and look at shit from there.
The Memorial carpark and picnic area functions as an unwanted chicken depository wherein roosters and occasionally hens are dumped by expedient arsehats, to either make their own way in the world (it's a fairly viable habitat) or be bagged up by those chicken fanciers who have felt the chill and/or peaceful silence of rooster deficiency.
We feel it ourselves sometimes. Especially when they are clucking all reptilian and beady-eyed around us or lying paralysed and sun-struck in the grass making stunned little noises.
> Industrial ports are often both ugly and beautiful.
Some have a sort of Hedi Slimane slutty heroin chic; I always think of the Port port as more of a Michael Kors Resort-type situation in that its visual clichés are slightly jumbled but still utterly conventional.
Pff. You have to be in the mood.
< Onward, upwards, slogging over the fucking dangerous and stupidly disproportionate Rangi Park track steps installed by the Department of Conservation (we generally love your work, but this track is whack) through the second-growth bush slowly regenerating on the hill overlooking the memorial. We don't have far to go to summit, but this stretch with its half-metre steps burns like a bitch if you've been going hard the whole way.
Luckily there is a secluded little picnic area awaiting us with lovely, blessed seating and another nice outlook over the harbour in two directions that is slowly succumbing to cockblocking broom regrowth, unfortunately.
I enjoy strange drinks and this local thing Chia is a heavily-textured mess of rehydrated chia (Salvia hispanica) seeds and various fruits. It's not too sweet and has that slightly vegetal cucumbery edge that is so good on a hot day. Highly recommended.
No one is paying me to say that :(
This regenerating lowland forest is currently dominated by gnarly Tree Fuchsias (Fuchsia excorticata) which is the largest fuchsia anywhere,
so fuck everyone else and their basic little fuchsias.
< Our favourite part of this odyssey. Halfway down the track to the road is a spooky cave-like bluff smothered in rangiora and giant creeper.
From the historic tagging and general debris scattered around we theorise that subadults once exploited the site's relative seclusion, making early forays into both the liver injury and the generally unsatisfactory and sometimes calamitous reproductive activity that would characterise the rest of their lives.
But who needs a great venue when you have a beanbag, 2L of Coke and a greasy screen to call your own? I doubt many contemporary teenagers would make it up here without supplemental oxygen and a fucking mule team, the lazy little shitbags.
When your replacement cohort won't even get off its arse to sneak out, get loaded and fornicate, you know your species is probably and deservedly doomed.
Bless that wide-angle lens for shrinking my feet to quasi-human proportions. What's a vigorous young beauty in budget trainers and a long-suffering bald man to do when they've almost exhausted all convenient sylvan resources?
There's always the Old Cemetery.
But it deserves its own essay and we'll save that for another day.