Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Holiday's at last.

A cruise ship leaves Otago Harbour in a view from My Cargill yesterday.
Avalanche Peak, the "hill" my son wants me to climb!
Officially I am now on holiday. From tomorrow I am meant to have 23 consecutive days off. I have been  asked to conduct a wedding this Tuesday evening so preparation for that will need to be done. Next Saturday I conduct my son's wedding, which also needs some preparation time. I also need to do a few things in at the office and some chaplaincy hours before I really go on holiday.  It will be Wednesday before I truly knock off.
I know that I deserve and need a holiday. I also know that the Church will struggle while we are away, so I feel guilty. I spent a bit of time this past week doing some things which I hope will make things easier for them.  It is quite hard for me to switch off. There are people I feel like I should keep in touch with in both Church and chaplaincy situations and there is planning for the year ahead that is required. I find it hard to walk away from these responsibilities for three weeks.  I guess once I get tramping or doing other things I will relax and unwind. As good as it is to be taking my son's wedding, I will not feel I have knocked off properly until I have finished that. I am good at up front stuff, but it does not come easily for me. I will be uptight until the ceremony is over.
Six days of 2013 have now been completed and I have exercised on four of them. I would love that sort of ratio to keep going throughout the year but I will have to get more disciplined. I think I am not doing too bad considering I have my catheter and bag and I am still really just getting over an infection. Last night I walked up my mountain and got into three different conversations with people I passed on the way. It was a sociable walk. There seem to be more people walking the mountain these days, which is great for them.  When I do chat with folk I find people just really appreciate the bush, the exercise and the scenery. I often chuckle. They are coming down while I am going up. They generally begin the conversation by kindly warning this old man that they have encountered that he has a long way to go, or a steep climb ahead.  I like to inform them that I do know the track well, that I have been walking it for years. It is then that a longer conversation gets going. The down side is that I do enjoy the isolation of walking in the bush. It is a great place to sort your mind out and just be alone. Now that more people are there this aspect is being spoilt for me. I may have to find a different less populated track. I am slowly feeling more fit. I have set my sights on a ten kilometre community fun run in mid March to be fit for.  Watch this space. 
Will it be too hard.
After the wedding we are going to spend a few nights with my oldest son, his wife and our grand daughter.  He told me that he and I will do a tramp together. I phoned him the other night to ask him which walk he had in mind. "Avalanche Peak" he replied, "It is a day walk." "Sounds good, I'll check it out." I said confidently. Well I got on the internet and read up on the walk. There are all sorts of warnings about it. It sounds like it is a very steep track and it will be a full day outing. I talked with a guy who had done it twice, and he also talked of the challenges we will face. "If the weather is bad don't do it!" he warned. Gulp! Am I up to it? Am I fit enough and strong enough to handle it? I began to think of calling my son and telling him to find something more sedate. I was going to tell him his old man might be a bit too old for this one. Then I stopped and thought. If I don't do it now I never will. I will pass up the opportunity to do a tramp (climb) in New Zealand's Southern Alps.  The views from the peak in the photos on the internet looked magnificent. I decided I should not be a wimp, life is too short to procrastinate, I will bite the bullet and do it. Life is there to be experienced and lived. So I will tramp with my son up Avalanche Peak. It will be him loping along hardly raising a sweat, with me puffing after him, finding excuses to stop and enjoy the scenery! (read "catch my breath") One man suggested I should give him my pack to carry to slow him down.  I'll take some pics and let you know how I get on. If all goes well it will be a very exhilarating, memorable and once in a life time type experience. I love it that this man, my son, wants to spend time with his father.  If you hear of a rescue helicopter being despatched to Avalanche Peak, you'll know who they are picking up. Wish me luck, it is still over a week away. 

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