Years ago, I was on a Wellington City Council walk and it started to rain. One walker pulled out an umbrella and we others all sniggered at how city-fied this was and we were made of sterner stuff. An umbrella? Phfft... We were Hikers-with-a-capital-H. No sissy umbrellas for us. The upshot being that we got wet and the umbrella-carrying lady walked out of the bush almost as dry as she'd walked into it.
Well, I persuaded a friend to tag along with me for the week at Ohope Beach this month. We decided to hike an hour's hill track behind Ohope.
After much panting and puffing and stopping to pretend to look at the view when really we were catching our breaths but wouldn't let on to each other about how knackered we were.... we reached the top of the hill. I felt a droplet of water. And another.
My friend hadn't brought any wet weather or warm gear with her.
I burrowed in my backpack and passed her my (urban) raincoat. I well-remembered the WCC walk and kept the little folding umbrella for myself. Gosh, I'm a mean person....
My friend didn't say much out loud but I'm sure in her mind she was cursing. My raincoat was just a nylon job and the rain got through it in minutes. It trickled into the sleeves and down inside the collar. And the puddles under our feet changed into boggy swamps. We slithered and slipped and took turns clinging to my hiking stick going down the steep slithery bits.
My friend plonked her soaking wet self into the car afterwards. A true drowned rat.
I hardly had a spot of rain on me. So here's the hint. Regardless of what your macho friends might say .... when you go out hiking always please, for my sake, carry an umbrella.... Oh, and here's another hiking hint: never plaster moisturiser on your face prior to going out. I spent most of my Ohope hill hike, wiping my face with the hem of my t-shirt. Moisturiser and sweat just do not mix.
Below is a picture of a woman walking her cat through the water at Ohope Beach (I took the photo a couple of years ago). The cat loved its daily paddle. The woman told me that she would sometimes tie the cat to a bucket while she was hunting for shellfish. One day the woman looked up froim her foraging to see a big dog belting along the sands, followed by her charging cat tugging a bucketfull of shellfish in its wake.