Why I love climbing hills

I know what you’re thinking. Why the fuck would anyone love climbing hills? It’s hard work and it’s exercise and don’t pretend like you enjoy hard work and exercise.

Well, I’m not going to pretend I like either of those things because I don’t. What I love though is the end result of the hard work and exercise required to climb the hill. Let me break it down for you:

You’re at the bottom looking up. You see your destination and you’re thinking “Fuck. This.” Fair enough. You’re full of adrenaline and your brain is thinking of all the excuses in the world to not do the climb but there’s another part of you that’s telling you “yo, the view up top will be mean g”. You start walking and taking those first few steps are the hardest because you’re still debating and thinking “it’s not too late to turn back now. No one is going to think you’re a pussy for giving up. It’s okay to do it now” because you know once you’re halfway and you give up, that’s when people are allowed to judge you and label you a ‘giver upper’. If you give up and turn back, you know you’ll feel relief for not having to climb anymore but when you think about later tonight, in bed, you’re going to think you’re a sore loser and that you should’ve just kept going and seen the views and now you’ll have to start it all over again and go through all the drama.

So you decide to ignore all those negative thoughts and go ahead with the climb. You’re in pain, you’re sweating, you’re red-faced and you’re well, dying on the inside and out. You’re cursing, you keep stopping for breath and water and you’re trying not to cry. But you push through and you keep moving. Then suddenly, it’s all over. You’re there. You’re up top g. You’re on top of the world.

Suddenly, all the negatives disappear. You look down at the world and you think “I fucking did it”. I did the thing. You take many photos, you show off and you don’t even care about showing off because you know that people are going to be somewhat jealous of the sweet 360 views. You tell your friends, your family, your exes (okay maybe not) and they’re all proud of you.

And that, my friends, is why I love climbing hills. It’s a constant reminder of the hurdles you face in life and why in the end, it’s going to be okay and when you reflect, you’re going to smile at having experienced it despite the shittiness you had to go through in between. Plus check out these sick views:

IMG_2130IMG_1205IMG_1208IMG_1212 (1)Makara, Wellington

IMG_1975Rimutaka Trig Track, between Wairarapa and Wellington

IMG_1623IMG_1625IMG_1613Mount Kaukau, Wellington

IMG_0539IMG_1555Some hill in Wadestown ft. my parents, Wellington

IMG_0730IMG_0732IMG_0735IMG_0736Pencarrow Lighthouse, Eastbourne, Wellington

If you’re in Wellington and need some inspiration of hills to climb, I encourage you to check these places out. As you can see, the views are absolutely stunning!

Advertisements

If you can’t grow ’em, pick ’em

 

I’ve always wanted to go strawberry picking. I see so many people instagram-ing or Facebook-ing their finds and I was getting really, really jealous. I didn’t know where the hell people were going to pick strawberries so I did my research and came across Penray Gardens in Otaki. Funnily enough, I drive past the gardens every time I drive out of Wellington but I thought it was just a little fruit and veg shop.

One weekend, a couple of friends and I decided to head out on a semi-grey and muggy day. Honestly, it was the best decision ever despite the typical Wellington weather. Before you head into the gardens, there’s a huge sign which shows you all the fruit and veg that are in season to pick and the cost per kilo. You help yourself to a bucket/punnet/wheelbarrow and off you go on a little fruit and veg picking adventure.

I like strawberries. I honest to god do but whenever I buy them from the supermarket, I don’t eat the small punnet in one sitting. Usually I find strawberries that are either not ripe or too mushy. What a waste of average $4.99 for approximately 10 strawberries (if you’re lucky).

So during my excursion, I picked roughly 30 strawberries that cost me approximately $5.50, 3 ginormous cucumbers for $1.00 and 2 huge red onions for $1.50.

I emptied the huge ass punnet in one day. They were scrumptious, delicious, ripe, fruitful, succulent and divine – once I started, I just couldn’t stop. I was kind enough to leave my sister two (or three). She agreed; they were incredible.

IMG_2005

Not only was it stimulating and relaxing; you also get a decent workout from walking up and down, all around. And jumping for joy of course because you’re surrounded by freshness.

So next time you’re stuck for things to do and are lacking in the fruit and veg department, I highly recommend heading out to Penray Gardens. It was a whole lot of fun and I guarantee you’ll leave with a huge smile on your dial. Don’t believe me? Look how happy we were!!!

17190731_10155850590084838_8927686730430014405_n

I can’t wait to head back and pick apples, pears and tomatoes!!

The deep end: Part Two

Scary situation #2

I’m going to sub-sub-head this ‘The Climb’. I think it’s worthy of a sub-sub heading because well, it was truly wonderful.

I woke up at 10.00am on a Monday off. I hopped in the shower (don’t judge me when you read on and realize maybe I should’ve just had a shower after, not first), put on my workout gear, packed my 1L bottle of water and raincoat into a daypack and headed out the door.

I was determined to climb up Mount Kaukau, which is the highest most visible point in the Wellington region. According to Wikipedia, it’s 445 meters above sea level.

Anyways, I parked up and made my way to the entrance of the park. I read the map, took a deep breath and went forward. While I knew EXACTLY what I was getting myself into, nothing prepared me for all the upward hills and stairs. Yerp, there were stairs.

Every corner I turned there were more and more and more stairs. I’m not going to lie, I felt like I was going to cry and give up more times than I could recite my ABCs repeatedly in 20 minutes (does this even make sense?). Oh and did I mention my calves were on fire because I went for a bit of an uphill hike a couple of days before and didn’t stretch? Yeah, that’s a thing.

Anyways, when I finally got to the top and there was a wide stretch of green with a picnic table and people lying on the grass, my god I can’t even begin to describe to you how happy I felt. I was so happy I actually started laughing. Yes that’s right, I was there by myself. And laughing. And as I continued to walk up, I continued to have a massive grin on my face.

I didn’t even care that all the people that passed me while walking up had already had their moment of bliss and were heading back down while I had just made it to the summit. It didn’t phase me one bit.

I was so happy. I soaked in the 360 views and spent a solid 5 minutes around every corner with a huge smile on face. I was truly taking everything in and I thought to myself, is this what true happiness feels like? Cause if it is, I bloody want more.

IMG_1613IMG_1615

It’s hard to believe that I was experiencing a once in a blue moon moment where I was truly happy and I was by myself. What are the odds! I smiled for a while longer and decided to keep walking rather than turn around because these treks usually take you back to your starting point right?

… Right?

I was pulled into continuing the trek by the hills and an inviting pathway. I kept walking and stopped to read a map and signs that said ‘Johnsonville this way’. Meh, it’s indicating Johnsonville is that way but it doesn’t mean it’s going to take you to just Johnsonville. Right?

IMG_1621

I kept walking… nearly stepped on dog poop and fell off the cliff because I just had to take an incredible photo. I drained my battery – from 99% it was sitting at 12%. Who cares? I won’t need it for anything other than photos.

IMG_1623IMG_1624 I just kept walking and walking and walking and suddenly, I was at an exit point. To Johnsonville. The opposite of where my car was parked.

Fuck.

Scary situation #3

Same day. Same place. I was in a cul-de-sac in the middle of fucking Johnsonville. Might I add, I know NOTHING about Johnsonville. I mean this was a place where my friend had to be google maps and guide me to Nandos (it’s a pretty small place kinda). For a place that’s literally a 10 minute drive from where I lived, I knew NOTHING. Like Jon Snow, I knew NOTHING.

So naturally, I checked google maps. Wahoo, 10% battery. Fuck. Google maps told me it was going to take approximately 30 minutes to get to my car. Okay cool, easy enough. With my dying phone and dying map and dying GPS. Screenshotting the map isn’t going to help, given by this time I was sitting at 5%.

I started walking through the wild ‘burbs until I got to a roundabout with a dairy in the corner. I decided I needed electrolytes or caffeine or just something. I bought a Loaded drink. Mm electrolytes.

Then my phone died. I kept following the main road, with my backpack, feeling like a right tourist and actually reading signs. To cut the story short, I made it to my car parked in Khadallah. It took me about 40-45 minutes (hard to tell when you don’t have a phone because it’s dead but judging by the approximate time of 2.35pm just before my phone died and it being 3.15pm or whatever from the top of my head).

I was so happy to see Georgie (my car) from a distance. I ran to her and hugged her like the true weirdo that I am. There was a couple sitting by the train station and I could feel their eyes piercing into my back. But you know what? Fuck them. They didn’t know my struggle. They didn’t have to endure what I had endured.

FUCK. THEM.

So in the space of one day, I:

  • nearly gave up
  • nearly killed someone/thing
  • nearly cried in pain
  • felt pure happiness and true bliss at the same time
  • loved life
  • felt content
  • felt assured
  • felt lost
  • felt nervous and anxious
  • felt relieved

I totally think I’m ready to travel alone.