“I think this is an animal track”

That was something Steff mentioned as we hiked up a densely forested hill, our second hike of the day. The first was a peaceful walk through a protected area called the Grays Bush Scenic Reserve.

Grays Bush was a short (ie 20 minute) stroll through protected old growth forest. It was pleasant though nothing remarkable. Certainly not quite like what was to come…

Because the Grays Bush walk was over so quickly and there was still a couple hours of daylight remaining, we opted for a second hike. I had thought I had seen one such hike mentioned just a little further up the road. And things looked promising – a playground for kids and a path leading up the hillside. Well, that path quickly disappeared and the ascent got very steep – using hands in some sections to get proper grip and climbing done. Part way up Steff mentioned she thought we were following an animal track, and while I wasn’t sure at first, once we found animal droppings along the trail I had to concede that we probably were on our way up a random hill that people rarely go. Still, I wanted to get to the top anyways, so we pressed on. Eventually, we made it to the top.

In the far distance, off to the left a bit, you can make out Kaiti Hill with Gisborne sitting just in front of it. As well, closer to the center, the largest group of dark green trees? That’s Grays Bush Reserve. Pretty small – 200m across at it’s largest.

Upon starting down, I found another vantage point, this time looking further west towards the setting sun.

Turns out the going up portion of the hike would be the EASIER part. By detouring to this vantage point I couldn’t make it back to the area that Steff and I hiked up – so I went down a different way than Steff. Either way was difficult though – sort of controlled falling at some points, running from tree to tree on the steep downward slope. Didn’t take any pictures of that part – too busy trying to not injury myself. After about 15 minutes of fun, Steff and I both made it back to the car in one piece and headed back to our host for a tasty dinner.

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