Daywalk: Wellington to Whitby via Belmont Regional Park

Yesterday I went for a walk, a week after returning home, to try and get back into the swing of things. It first took me to Ngauranga (I needed to buy something from LV Martin), but then I just kept on walking. It turned into quite a nice day, although by the end I had a couple of blisters on the soles of my feet, and ache in a few places. I think this is symptomatic of me having been a few weeks without much exercise, but hopefully I’m on the way to loosening up.

I found a new way into Belmont Regional Park that I’d previously not known about, heading up through Granada North where there’s a new sub-division going in, then just following the roads until they fade away. In hindsight I think I might have accidentally crossed about 50 metres of private land (hopefully no more), which I realised upon emerging at the end of someone’s driveway, so I’m not 100% sure if there’s a complete public access corridor going through there.

[Download GPX] [LINZ Topographic Map in new window]

I decided about half way through the day that I’d like to get to Whitby, which is the suburb in which I grew up. It would have been nice to have been able to follow Duck Creek from Belmont Regional Park all the way, but unfortunately it’s blocked off as more private land and so I had to divert back into suburbia and walk around the streets.

It was strange walking around Whitby. I haven’t lived there for 17 years, but there are memories everywhere, and much of it doesn’t seem to have changed so much. Other things have, though. Everything seems so much more condensed. Great hills that I remember as taking much effort to climb feel unusually shallow. Walking through my old school in which I spent my entire primary and intermediate career, all of the buildings feel smaller. It’s hard to imagine how we spent so much time running around here without constantly hitting the walls. I guess people grow up.

The property developers have taken over some of the great areas of recreation. I have wonderful memories of flying kites through the area that’s now a fenced off retirement village. It was always going to happen, and despite having been very sad to leave in 1992, I’m not sure I could go back to live there again, at least with the same expectations.

It was late in the day, in any case, and I resumed my plan of aiming for the 6.34pm train from Paremata back home again… more of a challenge than I expected given how my feet were starting to give up. There was still enough summer daylight left to make the walk around Pauatahanui Inlet worthwhile, and when I arrived at the train station at exactly 6.34pm, it was only a shame the train was running 20 minutes late.

I guess what had turned into a 43 km walk was quite a shock to the system when it’d been a while, and my right knee now seems to be playing up. Hopefully things will improve in the next week or two, though.

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