June 17, 2004

Just Us and the Sheep (NZ)

Banks Peninsula Track is the product of some out-of-the-box thinking by 10 farmers in the Canterbury area outside Christchcurch. Before Banks Peninsula Track, all the official walking trails in New Zealand were "public" - owned and operated by the Department of Conservation. In the late 1980s, though, these 10 farmers got together and opened a "private" walking track across their properties, and started charging people for the privilege of passing through their lands. This wouldn't work for just any group of farmers, probably, but these 10 had spectacular views of rolling hills, dramatic cliffs, and ocean bays. They also had a lot of sheep, so you could never get lonely while walking.


We wouldn't have been lonely anyways, though, because we enjoyed the company on the entire hike of a former biotech executive from Denmark and a lawyer from Sydney. Even though on the face of it we had very little in common, the Track had a funny enforced bonding effect because we were the only four people hiking the 35 km in two days. The more standard walk, with twelve people per day, lasts 4 days - hence the the trip's slogan "Four Nights, Four Days, Four Beaches, Four Bays". Well, at least there were actually 4 beaches and bays for us two-day trampers. And we made two lovely new friends.

The two-day trampers

The track was beautiful and the sheep were very cute. Pictures are here.

Otanerito Bay

Posted by miriam at June 17, 2004 11:59 PM

Hee! More sheep than you could shake a stick at -- not that I'm implying you would do such a thing, of course. ;)

Damn, now I want to retire to a NZ sheep farm so I can just stare at those views all day. And I can get Aven wholesale deals on wool, in return for which she can knit me rustic sweaters. Yes, I have it all planned out...

BTW, a few of your captions in the middle seem to have gotten mixed up. Unless it was just my computer.

Posted by: Tyla at June 19, 2004 04:50 AM

That sheep looks flouffed and blow-dried!

Posted by: Lana Stewart at June 20, 2004 11:47 PM


What kind of seal was it? How can you bear to live in ignorance?

Posted by: George at June 23, 2004 04:48 AM