I came to the fence out of the bull paddock. It was four-wire electric. The difficult electric fences like this one you just jump onto so your feet are off the ground when you grab the wire. So long as you’re not earthed, you’re okay. That’s the theory, and it’s what I did. Jumped onto it, hoisted up on it, swung a leg over the top of it, balanced myself with one hand on a post ready for the jump down from it, and right then I got a shock that would have felled a bull. I dropped stonily off the fence, and lay on my back on the far side. The world receded into pale colours, then came back again. But I was out and free and on my way to Mt Somers.
–Geoff Chapple, #14 Roaring Bulls and Rhyolite Mountains
While trawling the web in search of material to satisfy my unnatural yearn for all things New Zealand (something that has particularly more acute since I moved to Perth), I came across this series of stories/logs. It chronicles the journey of Geoff Chapple as he went tramping along a path known as Te Araroa, from one end of New Zealand to the other.
The whole things reminds me a lot of the Bill Bryson book A Walk in the Woods, only without the goofy Bryson wit and style, or the larger self-reflective understory from that book. I’ve found the stories quite absorbing, and I think that there might be something in there for anyone who liked A Walk in the Woods for its more natural aspects.
I went through a field of hinds. They were different from any animal I’d encountered before. Sensitive. They’d move as one, their speed giving them a flowing motion, then stop, look, all turned one way, ears up like fungus, then flee again, and in the contours of the paddock, disappear. Then there’d be a low rumble, and the line of the hill in front would be suddenly animate with a streaming line of ears, and then the whole herd would burst into the open higher up the paddock, wheel as one, and stop, and stare again.
–Geoff Chapple, #14 Roaring Bulls and Rhyolite MountainsTags: new zealand, tramping