Thursday, August 20, 2009

those new hiking boots

I had some new hiking boots and yesterday decided to 'christen' them by walking from Days Bay to Valentines buffet restaurant in Petone for lunch. Only, probably, an hour's walk, I told myself.

I'd been on the ferry from Wellington to Days Bay (about a half hour journey) , oh, three times, over last couple of months and each time I wondered why it wasn't crammed to the rafters with tourists. Auckland ferries are always full, maybe they advertise better?.

(Wellington Harbour is so beautiful and the ferry across the harbour to Days Bay is so cheap. Several of the journeys stop at Mat.-Somes Island mid-harbour. It's a protected island with no predators at all, has a nice history too. Only takes about an hour and a half to traverse and except for one optional steep track is not difficult to walk at all. Sandals are fine to walk in.)

It was very hot when I alighted at Days Bay, and the coastal track was extremely narrow in places, with cars whizzing past, missing me by centimetres. Okay, okay, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but I'm a dramatic person, so bear with me a little, huh?. I was re-listening to the last Harry Potter book on my MP3 player. (Oh, a note for solo walkers: this is a semi-urban track, with houses on one side, sea on the other. It's not scary in the least, no chance of being attacked . )

I started off singing that hiking song that val-de-rees and val-de-rahs all over the place, truly enjoying myself. "Only a couple of headlands to weave around and I'm in Petone," I figured.

But there always seemed to be another headland to weave around, and step by step, underneath my left sole, it got hotter and ticklier and pricklier. Oh, no, a blister was forming!

It formed. And not just one blister came. But two. I don't do things by halves. The walk, in the end, took 2 hours, which to me should have been a nothing walk really. I'm used to two hours' hiking. Can do it on my head. Usually. But after my first hour on the Days Bay to Petone walk, I was in agony. I threw curses on my new hiking boots. I wanted to throw them into the sea, but walking barefoot would've been worse.

Okay, I could have hopped on a bus but that was cheating, surely? I limped, stumbled, staggered around the industrial area of Seaview and the marina, cursing every person who went comfortably past me in a car. I stopped to apply a band-aid and turn my sock inside out. I glared at a guy who dared to break off his whistling (whistling? Whilst I was in pain, dying? Folk have been killed for less) to wish me 'good morning' as we both traversed the connecting bridge between the Hutt Valley and Petone.

Opposite Valentines, on Petone beach, I applied another band-aid to my foot, and tried to spruce myself up. After all, I was going into a restaurant. I was in casual (by now wet) clobber, was sweaty, obviously stinky, with hair damp, and no make-up. The hike had only taken 2 hours, but because of the blistered foot and the heat, it had felt like 20.

Maybe in future, I'll try out new hiking boots on, say, a half hour walk instead. Bed today, I guess, as I can hardly step my foot onto the ground. Ah, the pain. But, maybe - maybe - I might go on a little hike again tomorrow!

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