Apr 12th, 2016


Daniel, co-owner of Hiking New Zealand, ensures he gets into the backcountry (Young Man's Country) with his mates - time in the hills stirs the poet within.

 Young men contemplating the day ahead..

Handshakes and manly hugs

The Marquis of Normandy

All assembled and supping a jug

A hearty feed under torch light

Up the ridge we climb

The banter dies away

Huffing, puffing, belching

Great to be back in young mans country

Three hours later and well into the night

We arrive at the old hut

Dark and dank

She comes to life with a crackling fire

There is a bit of 'dew' in the tankards

Time for a yarn or two

The re telling of some classic old tales

Crawling into sleeping bags

Drifting into sleep and a dream

..of young mans country

Freezing river

Aching knees

Beads of sweat

Relentless ridge

Knowing eyes glance upward

Young mans country

Topping out on the ridge

Mid afternoon - a lengthened stride

Shadows grow longer

No hurry mate

Make these days last as long as you can

You're in young mans country now

Tears in the freezing wind

The ridge - an angry looking serpent

Is our path

The tussock stays frozen all day

The ladder and chains bolted to the rock

The lakeside hut bathed in winter sun

Can't linger too long

Before the long descent

Knarled old trees with mossy limbs

There's talk of goblins and hobbits

We chuckle at such nonsense

A candle in the window

The hut is our lighthouse

We come in from the high seas

The last supper and an AGM of sorts

But these young men are too tired

Such formalities can wait

Instead we savour a last night in young mans country

Phil's got a plane to catch

And like a soldier he marches off

Dan wants to bushbash he's sick of the track

He's outvoted and pretends to sulk

But soon we are 'back'

There's city folk in their city clothes

And a road full of cars

And the hills fade into distance

As we belt down the highway

Dan footer new

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