The following story involves an impromptu bush walk, a track that leads to no-where and no waterfalls. Before I start I should probably tell you all I have a Bachelors Degree with a Major in Outdoor Education, meaning I am no stranger to bush walks, maps, navigation and the outdoors. As you’ll soon see this makes the following all the more ridiculous.
It’s been pretty crappy weather here in New Zealand the last few weeks, and with the threat of an oncoming storm in a few days time Peter and I decide to head out for a bush walk to Fairy Falls in the Waitakere Ranges. Peter jumps on google to find out where to drive to and off we go on an alert, muddy adventure.
We arrive at our destination which does not look like where we are supposed to be. I ask Peter if he’s sure we are in the right place. He confidently assures me we are. We are not. We are in the very wrong place. Turns out he googled Fairy Falls but didn’t find out where the walking track to Fairy Falls starts, assuming this is where google would take us instead of some random dead end road in the middle of no-where. Despite this there are a couple of walking track marked here so we opt to try one of these and see where we end up, because surely, they will lead somewhere. Again not the case.
We walk in one direction for a very short time just to end up on a very steep private road, leading to goodness knows where. We follow the private road up a hellishly steep hill to a driveway where no house is yet built and come across the most beautiful view of Auckland. Luckily the weather had cleared enough to see it! Realising we are definitely trespassing at this point and with no reception on our phones to find out where we are, we head back to the road before we got shot. Back to the car to restart the adventure following a different track in a different direction.
The Second track we follow lead us right back to the hellish road again, only this time we come out at the point we turned around at last time. Time to double back to the car again. Third time lucky right? Wrong…. again. Following the third and final track we get 5 minutes in before coming across a very steep, very muddy section with a rope to aid in climbing up. We are both game to climb up, surely this track must lead to somewhere?! Up the treacherous mud we climb only to discover the track does not in fact go anywhere. It just ends. Right at the top of the climb it ends. With no other option we head back down the treacherous mud, now with a slippery rope (thanks to me standing on the end of it on the way up, oops). Peter heads down first making the descent look surprisingly easy and graceful. Well, as graceful as a clumsy 6 foot 3 guy can make it look. I follow with no issue until about half a meter off the ground. At this point I get stuck as I’m unable to find somewhere stable to place my feet. I yell out to Peter “Babe, I’m stuck”. Expecting to see me stuck high off the ground and desperately needing his help, Peter comes back. On seeing me splayed wide legged clinging to the slippery rope for dear life, only slightly off the ground, Peter cracks up laughing. Rather than helping me he decides now is a great time to make a video. Thanks babe. Eventually I manage to slip and slide my way down, without falling on my arse I might add, and we head back to the car revelling in the epic failure of the day.
Even though we did not reach our intended destination (or any destination) both myself and Peter learnt a few valuable lessons (Lessons I should already know if I’m completely honest, but as it turns out…. Adulting is hard).
- Lesson One: Google does not know everything. Sometimes it pays to dig a little deeper.
- Lesson Two: Always take a map to avoid wandering aimlessly and making it nowhere. As it turns out cellphones are useless without reception and can’t be relied upon for directions (First world problems, am I right?).
- Lesson Three: Even when things don’t go to plan you can still enjoy yourself and have a good time. We had loads of laughs sludging through the mud, wandering in circles and still had a decent walk despite not reaching our intended destination.
For now Fairy Falls is still on the to-do list, but will have to wait for another day. Next time proper planning will be key to ensuring success.
Have you are all having a fabulous week!