Robyn's Secret Passage
"So, how was your weekend, Robyn?"
Scenic Drive is one of my favourite roads in the world. It runs along the top of the Waitakere Ranges ("only 25 minutes drive from downtown Auckland!") and it's surrounded by either lush green bush, or spectacular views. It is scenic, and is rightly named (unlike Seafield View Road, which I think should be investigated).
The many times I've driven along Scenic Drive I'd noticed a little gravel area with a sign announcing that Waitakere Dam was nearby. It intrigued me. I decided to investigate further.
There are many bush walks and tracks for trampers. I figured I should be well prepared. You know, sturdy hiking boots, global positioning device, scroggin. I ended up improvising with my running shoes, cellphone and a bag of fruit and nut mix.
Off I drove along scenic drive to the start of Waitakere Dam Walk. I was prepared to face the wild. I even had my Swiss Army Knife.
At this point it would be cool if I could go off onto a tale of my journey through the bush, of experiencing New Zealand as it was back in the pre-European days. But unfortunately I can't. It was very post-European.
For a start, the track was tar-sealed. It acts as an access road for the maintenance contractors of Water Care. So instead of a wilderness walk, it felt like I was walking down the driveway of some billionaire's country retreat.
I strolled downhill nibbling on my fruits and nuts. There were lots of trees. Cicadas clicked in the distance. Oh, yay!
Soon I came to the dam. I wasn't really impressed by the dam. As far as dams go, it's pretty small. I mean, I wasn't expecting the Hoover Dam, or that big arse one under contruction in China, but having seen the Karapiro dam, I thought it might be on par with that.
But the dam itself didn't really seem very significant compared to the surrounding land. It was wonderful. Stuck in a valley between two bush covered hills. Trees and sunshine! I think now is the bit where I can say that words can not describe the incredible beauty and general choiceness of that area.
Even the long drop toilets were nice.
I walked around the side of the reservoir, then back across the top of the dam. I leaned over the side and had an overwealming urge to spit in it. So I did. Twice. By now thousands of people have got my goobies!
Having experienced a large amount of scenic wonder, I made my way up to the top. As I was walking up a Water Care ute drove up behind me and the dude stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride. Nice girls don't take rides from strange men. I told him I wanted to walk back up, and off he drove.
I made it back to the top into the air conditioned comfort of my automobile. It wasn't quite the epic bush walk I was expecting, but there was some really beautiful scenary and it was really empowering spreading my girl germs to the people of Auckland.