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Heels 1969

A Gorgeous Tiger Trip of magnitude A1 or better

A Gorgeous Tiger Trip of magnitude A1 or better

Why No Elephants?

Being an account of seven brave sahibs and their journeys into the wild, wet, Waiohine watershed, (without elephants). But why did they not take elephants on a tiger trip? An essential item you say. You might well ask. So I say, in reply to you. Have you ever tried to carry an elephant over Pukematawai in a howling Westerly. Not on your Nelly, I bet. So the elephants remained behind.

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The Burning Question

The Friday night saw the original party of nine (seven sahibs and two sahibras), ensconced in South Ohau, to be rudely awakened four hours later by a raucous screeching, which, upon further investigation, proved to be a Keith sahib announcing it was time to arise. As an immediate response was not forthcoming, Keith sahib deemed positive action was necessary to get 'the cretins' out of their pits. So he decided to create a disturbance by having his primus blow up. To this end he was, I must confess, pretty successful; almost to the extent of burning down South Ohau. However, quick action by P.K.R., of the 31st Punjabi Primi emergency squad, managed to save the day. We eventually steamed out of the hut at 6.30 a.m., to begin the long haul up Yeates.

Bras and Brews

Arriving at Te Matawai, we paused only long enough for a quick brew, then abandoning the two sahibras, (who went out over Arete), we pushed blindly on up, through mist enshrouded tussocks. Buffeted by Tremendous Gutsy (I mean gusty) winds, we staggered over Pukematawai and down to Arete saddle, A quick re-fuelling stop, then we began the descent to the Park. Several chuff slides and backward somersaults soon saw us in the head of the river; where the seven little frozen sahibs stood around, telling each other how mighty it was, while trying to stuff chocolate into their frigid faces with shaking fingers.


"Presson", "Presson", cried P.K.R. and they did, arriving five hours later at Park Forks after much boulder hopping, sidling and positively pleasurable pool plunging.

Some decided it would be a good idea to camp, as they had lugged tents for so far. However as there was no sign of the monsoon approaching, and the majority wanted to rubbish Bolt's statement that we wouldn't get past the Forks, we decided to Presson. A further 3 hours of Pressingon and there was Mid Waiohine. (12 hours from South Ohau). "Mid Waiohine, Mid Waiohine, prettiest hut that I've ever seen. The mattresses there don't treat you mean in Mid Waiohine." (with apologies to Beethoven?) A mighty fire and a mighty feed were followed by a mighty flake.

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Stop Press:- Eggwater Raves Over Pog

"The notice had said: 'bring much energising food', but not Pog - gad, how can a man survive without Pog? I ask you. Bloody poor show, I say, so just to put the beggars in the right perspective, I brought some Pog; indeed much Pog and very good it was too, especially with that eggwater."

Hindus Miss Sunrise

The morning dawned an azure blue, with rosy pinks tinting the wispy clouds, which lingered lustfully over the meandering waters of the beautiful Waiohine River. But all this was lost from the eyes of the seven sahibs, whose muffled grunts and curses indicated a certain reluctance to arise. However, being devout Hindus, we were all aware of the old Hindustani proverb:- "A sleeping tiger gathers no moss." So as one man, we all leaped out of our pits and rushed outside to gather some moss. But alas there was no moss to be seen, so the only alternative was to Presson....

They Presson Again

Crashing through the jungle for a short distance we soon regained the river, and proceeded at much speed down it. After swimming the first pool, we proceeded at an even mucher speed - alternately rushing along precipitous banks, fording unfordable fords and drifting through long, limpid pools - on our "positive means of flotation".

A few hours of such pleasures saw us at Totara Flats; where we lay around soaking up the sunshine like mad dogs, before Pressingon once again.

Are Tigers Dying Out?

More, 'much speed' was made along the grassy flats, but no other tigers were to be seen concealed in the undergrowth. We think there must have been a big drive on our fellow members fairly recently.

Energy was flagging a little by this stage, but the thought of a ride out spurred us along, to arrive at Wall's Whare about five o'clock, in a rather battered, but satisfied condition. Our two gun men, Pete of the Punjabi Primi and Nabob Nev, got there first and bludged a ride out to Carterton. They summoned a taxi for the remaining sahibs, who were muchly grateful. So endeth the Saga of the Seven Sahibs, tigers every one.

Personnel:- P.K.R. of the Punjabi Primi - honourable leader.
R.Gooder esquire of the 31st Burping Ghurkas - a bludger of high renown.
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Nabob Neville of the Nasty Knee Division.

Sahib Keith Jones - A man possessed with a fiery spirit.

Sahib Brian - Grandson of the famous dribbling Dheli Davis.

Kashmir Keys - The only tiger ever seen with tartan trou.

and the one and only:-

Colonel Eggwater-porridge, 42nd Leatherwood Lancers.