Emser Ultra 2019

Leonie and I drove to Hohenems in the morning and ran the Emser Ultramarathon. Well Leonie did. I ran the 30 km bambini variant. This is because Leonie is motivated and has been training hard while I am not so motivated and have been hardly training.

It was a very nice winter’s day. But it was definitely a winter’s day. It must have been below zero degrees as we set off along the flat past frozen lakes towards the Rheintal. The course took us down towards Koblach where I sometimes climb. I’d never run on the hill there but it turns out to have trails all over it. I ran with Leonie until the hill. We put on running crampons before the climb as the trails were covered in packed snow and ice. I was a bit slow putting on my spikes and Leonie was gone. The trail isn’t marked and instead you have to navigate using a GPS track. I lost the route immediately and faffed around for a bit until some people caught up. We ascended to the top where we had a great view out towards Swiss mountains and in the other direction back to Lake Constance.

I jogged down following someone but he got away. At the bottom we continued along the flat towards more hills. I got lost a few more times and not long after reaching the next hills I was passed by a big group. My legs were starting to die already and it was only 17 km. Additionally, the water in my drink system tube had frozen meaning I couldn’t hydrate. I stuck it under my shirt and after a while it thawed.

I ran with another group later until they got away as well. The course was still very scenic. We had a section through a ravine before we began ascending slowly again on very snowy trails. At the top of the climb I hobbled down the snow covered forestry road and with a couple of others ran back to the finish of the 30 km. I stopped here. Most of the others went on to complete the 50km.

It was a nice run. I ran the 30km / 1000 m in around 4 hours 6 minutes.

Leonie finished first equal from the women in 6 hours 30 minutes, which was very impressive.

Tramping Rahu Saddle

Katie and I drove South through the rain from our campsite at Nelson Lakes. The weather improved as we drove and by Springs Junction it was warm and sunny. We decided to make the most of the weather and headed to Rahu Saddle, a short way along the road to Reefton. We packed for an over night trip and walked up the Klondyke Valley track for a couple of hours to the lake at the head of the valley. The temperature dropped as we climbed and it was a bit chilly as we cooked dinner in the evening. The ground was very spongy near the lake but we found one flat dry spot to camp under beach trees on the edge.

It rained in the night but cleared again by the morning. The tops were covered in mist as we got up. We headed back down the valley and drove back towards Christchurch, stopping in Amberly for café bits and pieces. I then met Gina, Jeremy, and Craig there and went four wheel driving for a few hours which turned out to be surprisingly fun.

Walking up the valley (Klondyke Valley Track)Arriving at the lake (Klondyke Valley Tracks)

Above left: We walked up a valley close to a river in nice green bush. Above right: There was a lake at the head of the valley and we camped there.

Cris presenting the pitched tent (Klondyke Valley Tracks)Green bush (Klondyke Valley Tracks)

Above left: Most of the ground surrounding the lake was soft and squishy but we found a dry spot under beach trees near the edge of the lake. We pitched the tent and I presented it for all to see. All being Katie. Above right: The bush looked just as nice and green on the way back out the next morning. It was much quicker on the way out being downhill the whole way.

Sea kayaking Abel Tasman

Day 0:

On Sunday afternoon I set off from Christchurch towards Marahau. I drove into the evening until the road was empty of traffic and made it all the way to the Motueka valley where I camped the night.

Day 1:

I met Katie at the turn off to Marahau in the morning and we drove over the hill and got ourselves sorted out with a kayak. There was a bit of high cloud as we set off but it looking like it would clear and otherwise the weather was good. We headed into the park towards Watering Cove. Our campsite booking said we should stay the night there but as we had only paddled for less than 1.5 hours we decided to rebook the camp site in Onetahuti near Awaroa.

The conditions were good. It was now quite sunny with a small northerly head wind. We made good progress along the green coastline and it wasn’t too long before we got to Mosquito Bay for a break. The whole park seemed very small.

I set the gas cooker up on the sand and we drank a civilized cup of tea and went for a splash in the water.

Then it was on around the coast a bit further past Tonga Quarry to Onetahuti.

Happy Katie kayaking (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above: Katie and I set off for three days of sea kayaking in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. The weather was good and the sea was flat.

Day 2:

I went for a walk around the track a bit, back towards Bark Bay while Katie snoozed. After lunch we headed off in the kayak for a quick nosey into Shag Harbour.

We then headed back to another little deserted beach and made another cup of tea. Basically this trip was all about drinking cups of tea in the sun.

Then it was back to Bark Bay where we got some filtered water before heading to Mosquito Bay for the evening.

Cris and Katie in shag harbour (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)Kayaking (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above left: We headed up to shag harbour in the afternoon and caught it while the tide was in. Above right: We had rented a large tub of a kayak from Abel Tasman Kayaks. It was slow and heavy but allowed us to take far too much food, which suited us well.

Arriving at the beach (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)Mosquito Bay at night (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above left: The kayak was so heavy we had to enlist the help of a couple of tourists to pull the boat up above the high tide mark at Mosquito Bay. Above right: We stayed one night at Mosquito Bay. It was clear and the sky was filled with stars.

Mosquito Bay (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)Mosquito Bay in the morning (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above left: Mosquito Bay can only be reached by water so doesn’t have the hordes from the Abel Tasman track. Above right: We left Mosquito Bay on the third day and kayaked along the coast back to Marahau.

Kayak on the beach (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)
Above: The Abel Tasman is full of golden sand beaches and considering how beautiful it is, it’s surprisingly empty.

Day 3:

We cruised slowly back along the coast stopping in at Sandfly bay and kayaking up the river behind the large sand bar. We stopped in at Frenchman’s bay too and then at Te Pukatea for lunch.

After reaching Marahau we drove to Nelson Lakes and camped the night there.

Ferns (Seakayaking Abel Tasman NP)

Above: The bush on the Abel Tasman track is lush and full of bird song.

View Larger Topographic Map

Above: All going well, a map of the Abel Tasman. If I get around to it I’ll plot our course on it… Don’t hold your breath.