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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 4 April 17, 1946

Pounui Trip

Pounui Trip

A dozen trampers, led by Alec MeLeod, crossed over the Orongorengos to Lake Pounui in the last week-end in March. The trip was exceptional in being largely off the beaten track—off any perceptible track at all, in fact. A truck took the party up the Walnut Valley on Friday night, whence they crossed the G.B. and waded and stumbled by torchlight through the interminable mud of the Five-Mile. They packed into Tawhal Hut, two to a bunk and a couple of rugged types on the ground.

Saturday morning was fine and apapparently stimulating to certain forestry enthusiasts, who missed bacon and tomatoes in their prolonged hut vain attempts to bring down a tree—cut through but still standing, which was a possible threat to the hut. Leaving Tawhal by 10.30, the party went up-river to Boulder Creek. Some paused for a dip; the leader took to the river stripped down to boots and socks, watch and glasses. After lunch in the sun, the party turned to a vigorous climb up Boulder Creek; the way was steep as well as stony, but everyone finally reached the saddle, whence they followed- a creek down through lawyer, bush, and a Jungle of virulent stinging nettles, to emerge finally in Papatahi Creek.

Despite the earnest desire of the Unholy Three to press on to the Lake Ferry pub, saner views prevailed and a halt for the night was called at the first clearing. Warmed by a fire and a stew, the party discoursed on the highly technical and elevated subjects typical of tramping conversation—in this case Chinese mathematics and astronomy. Morning saw few eager to leave a snug sleeping-bag and cook breakfast, but rain stirred the party to eat, pack up and move on. When the Wharepapa River was reached, the Lake Ferry enthusiasts again expressed their wish to go round by the coast, but it was decided rather to take a direct route. This was found to lead through swamp, up a cliff, and across a plateau of scrub. While the front man forged ahead in the capacity of a battering-ram, the gallant leader urged his band on with imprecations from the rear, and the Unholy Three were loud in their satire. Fortunately a track leading to Lake Pounui was ultimately found, and a thoroughly drenched party staggered to the road and swam into a cottage. There, while waiting until five o'clock for the truck, everybody recuperated with food and a change or clothes.