This past weekend Jeremiah had a daddy weekend with Milo and I went with an American friend (Jen) to Mt Somers, about 2 hours south of Christchurch. We couldn’t have had better weather if we had ordered it specially. Sun-soaked, very little wind, frosty nights with perhaps 50s in the day. Amazing. The peaks around the area were decked out in fresh snow but the path was clear except in the shade.
If you look closely you can see two women laying on the rock with the spectacular mountains behind….that is Jen and me! The day was so gorgeous that we dawdled on the rocks before descending back down to the valley to the hut. We could see our destination from this shoulder, and only moved on when we noticed a number of people on the trail ahead of us and got nervous about bagging a bunk in the hut for the night. Last time Jeremiah and I were here was about a year ago, one of our first hiking trip in NZ with Milo. We huddled in the lee of a rock while eating our chilly lunch that day. This time we should have brought sun screen.
The hut did fill up for the night, as you might expect on such a spectacular weekend this close to Christchurch. It seems to be the premier destination for families with 7-10 year-olds who rumbled around the top bunks in the early morning hours unrestrained by parental orders….but I guess next it’ll be us bringing a wailing newborn in to share the sleeping quarters, so I won’t complain. You don’t stay in a big hut if you’re looking for a quiet remote get-away, after all, and the people we met in such places have been fun and memorable characters.
We poked around in a couple nearby swimming holes, imagining if the water was warm like a hot spring, and vowed to come back in summertime. Jen particularly liked the look of this one!
Jen likes swing bridges, oddly enough since she’s pretty nervous about heights! We took the ridge trail back to the car, making a nice scenic loop through tussocklands. One of the most amazing things about the weekend was that conversation was completely uninterrupted by a 2-year-old. It feels novel to finish full sentences and even complete thoughts without that strident voice piping up in the middle. I have to admit that I didn’t really miss him overnight, but I still thought about him plenty and was happy to see him when I got home.