Monday, June 3, 2013

Purple Peak (aka Solo NZ Running Camp Pt. 8)

I arrive in Akaroa the day before the wedding, stash my bags in the house I'm sharing with a bunch of other fine folks, and promptly figure out where I can smash myself on an orientation run of sorts. I don't have to go far; I head up the street our house is on and am quickly on some paved sections that are nearly too steep to run. Party on!

Akaroa below

Peacefully grazing

The trail climbs up and up through farmland above Akaroa, and after a good long slog, I'm at the saddle where I'm rewarded with a pretty sweet view in both directions.

Purple Peak Saddle

The view east

From the saddle, I continue meandering up to the top of Purple Peak, and the views of Akaroa and beyond from up there are...inspiring. Unfortunately, the last few hundred meters are comprised of a bushwhack of sorts, and further, there's something in the long grasses here that I'm apparently horribly allergic to. I "enjoy" the summit briefly while sneezing uncontrollably.

'Tween sneezes; water visible on both sides of the peninsula!

Figuring that escape is the best policy at this point, I bomb off the other side of the summit towards something hopefully less grassy. This eventually works, but not before I sneeze so hard a few times that I trip and wipe out. It feels pretty silly to be incapacitated by sneezing, but this is apparently my new reality.

Another look east

After winding back down the mountain, the trip into town is short and gleefully devoid of allergens. I tack on some extra distance along the waterfront of this lovely (but tourist-trappy) town and call it good. After a shower and an ice cold beer or three, I head back down along the waterfront to one of the other wedding guest houses, where old friends, BBQ, and good times await.

Along the waterfront

We laugh late into the night before we make the long walk home, but not before stopping for a few photos along the way :)


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