Cool interlude breaks walk

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I looked out at the clear sky and deserted peaks before quickly packing my bag and getting in the car.

I had spent the past couple of weeks unhappily hobbling around on a sprained ankle, which I injured about five minutes into my first-ever game of touch rugby.

I had, at the time, refused to let an injury prevent me from playing, and so continued with the game before playing another.

Needless to say, I was yet to play again, and was still nursing a swollen joint.

My inability to walk properly had left me with a critically bad case of cabin fever by the time the weekend had rolled around, and I had intended to go camping on Saturday night to try to escape from everyone – myself in particular.

But an unusual turn of events saw me attend a Royal Society talk in Wanaka, and I decided to go for a sedate wander on Sunday morning instead.

I had had an intense desire to explore the Kopuwai conservation area for several weeks but my attempts had always been thwarted by bad weather.

But on Sunday morning the sun shone bright, and so I guzzled my coffee and began the drive up the hill.

I drove as far as I dared before pulling over and surveying the landscape with a frown.

Someone once told me Central Otago had originally been a woodland, but as I looked across the barren hills and vivid green farms I found it hard to imagine.

I carefully made my way across the ridge and sat on some rocks in the warm sun and mused about the dry environment below.

Feeling philosophical, I took out my notebook and scrawled a few lines, before crossing everything out and snapping it shut with a sigh.

I carefully kept walking until I was overlooking a stream that bubbled down the hillside. Smiling to myself, I made my way down the steep side until I was hidden by the slopes.

The ice-cold water was too inviting to bypass, and I lounged about in the shallow pool until it was too cold to bear.

I was feeling slightly better, and satisfied I wouldn’t be interrupted, I took out my notebook again.

I felt as though I was the only person on the range and I lost track of time as I scribbled across the pages, until a loud humming threatened the silence.

I looked up and was jolted back to reality as a helicopter passed low overhead.

Not even the rugged landscape was as wild as it first seemed, I pondered, and I picked up my notebook again.