Fun on the run

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It’s not all hard work. There's lots of fun to be had and I, ‘The Boss’ (and others) have recorded a few of the funnier and lovely moments to share with you.

 Mr Leask’s lucerne

While not funny at the time, we can now laugh about my getting stuck in Mr Leask’s young lucerne paddock. We got off with a really good start, running nice and early for our set-up day. The track did look a bit muddy but other trucks seemed to have got in. We figured it must be hard underneath, and why we went in that way.

Brad met us - first meeting for 12 months - with many expletives translating to: “Mr Leask, the land owner doesn’t want us ruining his young Lucerne” Fair enough I thought, neither would I.

Understandably, this is why he seemed reluctant to ask Mr Leask for his tractor to pull out our two stuck trucks and trailers. Sure enough, the farmer turned up with his tractor. I apologised and he seemed a lovely gentleman. So, I didn’t see really what Brad’s problem was. (Brad is one of the most competent location managers I have had the privilege to work with - as well as being a great bloke)

Well, it turns out that this was, at least, the second time Mr Leask had had to use his trusty tractor that morning and he had advised Brad not to go that way.  It’s just no one had shut the gate expecting everyone would know to take the horse paddock route.

Sorry, no pictures here as I was too busy being towed.

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Later, we all enjoyed a trip to Ophir and, of course, for Blacks Hotel hospitality. We enjoyed having company of Mr Leask and his wife during a meal the next evening. Thank you, Mr Leask.

Rest day sleep-in

This is a joke-in-itself. Trekkers and support staff have a day off, but catering gets to sleep for 30 minutes longer. Then we had washing to do - by hand, in 20 litre buckets! Great for the arm muscles but the hand wringing was another laugh. Someone managed to find a bra putting it in the boys-only washing, the pile owned by the guys who look after the generator and toilets.

 DSC08683-Great NZ Trek DSC08585-2-Great NZ TrekThese are the guys that lent us some space on their clothes line.  Paul kept us connected with electricity and sorted any other sundry requests. Ray in the purple hair had a different coloured wig for every day of the trek. He is responsible for the extremely high standard of the trek toilets on his “Spik and Span” semi. His morning ten-minute warnings of toilet closing time prior to relocation and his choice of 24/7 music were amazing. Toileting to Meat Loaf at 4.00 am does get your day off to a great start!

The relationship between the various contractors on the Great NZ Trek was extremely professional yet allowed a huge amount of fun.

Thyme out in Roxburgh

DSC08620-Great NZ TrekOur ‘day off’ afforded a gas bottle top-up. So I took few of the team over to see the Roxburgh museum and dam. We had a lovely time picking wild thyme and a few apples before going back to prepare dinner.

Rocket Fuel

DSC08647-2-Great NZ TrekCider vinegar, honey and hot water!  Helen’s famous “Rocket Fuel” is said to fix whatever ails you. “If this stuff does not kill you the ailments have no chance at all!” Upon this light-hearted comment, I became a convert. (More likely because she lowered the potency a little). It became the drink-of-preference for the early morning breakfast team.

Team hug

DSC08681-Great NZ TrekOn a cold morning at Minzion Station there was lots of waiting in the damp mist as vehicle after vehicle was extracted from the site by huge tractor. Helen helped Larissa find a novel way of keeping her back warm.

Wind and caviar

During the one and a half days off between the Great NZ Trek and the Maadi Cup Rowing I took some of the team to see Mt Cook close-up. We had a wonderful day up under the mountain. Larissa shouted us to caviar on crackers as the sun set on the mountain. Often when working long hours things do not always go to plan and one can put it down to having a “bad hair day”.  This “bad hair” day was nothing but fun. The strong wind was spoiling but couldn’t spoil our day.

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Camera hijacking

It’s most important to add local learning to your accomplishments at Mt Cook. Their amazing information centre serves this well, having a very good audio-visual presentation. Our team was enjoying this presentation when I began to feel the effects of working 16-hour days for the last week. Feel somewhat sleepy, Larissa kindly offered a shoulder to sleep on. Being particularly short, her generous offer was somewhat impractical. I spied a group of bean bags in the corner that could remedy the situation.  To cut a long story short, I was previewing photos on my camera later on when having a beer and found this photo. I thought they did exceptionally well with the focus on the stoats eyes…. What do you think?

DSC08786-2-Maadi rowingThe boss enjoying an audio-visual at the Mt Cook visitor information centre. Believe the AV played 2.5 times before closing time! Maybe it just took that long to set up this shot on his camera.

I hope you have enjoyed some of the moments we have behind the scene.