The other day I took the dogs to review the Mitchelltown School off-leash area, a tiny patch of grass beside Aro Street.
That took 2 minutes.
Then we spotted the Polhill Reserve track, leading uphill. I thought it may loop round above the off-leash area and emerge on the other side, where I’d seen a less official looking track.
It didn’t. But it took me and the dogs a couple of hours to figure that out. It was one of those walks where I kept expecting that a side-track would come up ‘just round the next corner’.
Our dogs aren’t big walkers. They love their walks, but tire easily. They’re only little, and are fairly laid-back, rather than being high-energy powerhouses.
I had to keep the dogs on the lead, too, not only because of Wellington’s pest poisoning programme, but because of the ferret traps we were warned about.
There were a couple of opportunities to take tracks down to Holloway Road but I had it fixed in my mind that at any moment we’d be able to turn the other way, so we kept going up the track.
The track wasn’t specially interesting. It was a couple of metres wide in many places, but the bushes beside the path were quite high, and there were very few spots with a view. It was a matter of plugging along, ever onward and upward.
Before too long the dogs started lagging behind, and I realised that the ‘loop’ round the off-leash area wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t want to go back, though, because of the steep muddy spots.
We carried on.
We kept walking uphill, trekking round through trees, and with an alarming couple of downhill sections. We were on the north side of Brooklyn Hill, and I had visions of ending up somewhere bizarre, like half way to Makara.
After an age I was starting to think we’d never see the end of the track, but realised we must be nearly at the top of Brooklyn Hill. I was doing OK, but the dogs were plodding and I was concerned for them. I plied them with some doggy treats, but not expecting a big walk I hadn’t brought any water, for them or for me. It was rather warm for a winter’s day, so we were all a bit hot.
Finally, we emerged on Ashton Fitchett Drive, at the entry point to the wind turbine. My photo timestamps show it was in fact only a 1 hour walk, but it seemed longer. And we still had to make our way back down the hill to the car, parked in Aro Street.
We hurried down the streets at a good clip. Even Oshi was trotting along with good speed, now we were on our way back to the car. I was very glad to have my iPhone and its Google Maps to help with the unfamiliar streets.
Finally we found our way back to Tanera Park, took the steps down to Epuni Street and hurried along Aro Street as the daylight faded.
All up, it was a couple of hours for the round trip, and probably about 5 Km. It wasn’t really a hard walk — I suspect Brooklyn Hill isn’t as steep as Mt Victoria. But it’s taught me to check out a track before I take the dogs with me next time.