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1997 Self Development


When? 25 January 1997
Where? Piha
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Igor, Raewyn, Trudy, John

We are all going on a summer holiday, no sorry, tramp actually at Piha, but it was summer. Up past the waterfall the Waitakere Rovers hiked, some faster than others and some slower than others. But never the less they all went for broke - a no holds barred attitude, that's the Waitakere spirit. Up hills and down dale they walked and ran like an out of control steam locomotive with a belly full of coal burning at 1000 degrees Celsius (believe it or not). Down to an old log Kauri dam they stormed, where they rested, refuelled and departed when the clock struck two.

On and on they chugged pass the native bush, a stream and down what seemed to be New Zealand's answer to the Grand Canyon. The train of Waitakerians eventually came out into a clearing where the tramp finally ended with the carriages derailing and resting beside the road. What an excursion.

By Darryn

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Meremere Cleanup

When? 26 January - 27 January 1997
Where? Auckland Domain
Who? Brendan, Igor, Raewyn, Trudy, John

Hells Bells. Well Hells Angels actually.
Task - to clean up the Mere Mere racetrack after the Hells Angels had finished partying.

Equipment - Rubber gloves, rubbish bags, and our hands. One mixing bowl. Empty cans of beer.

Method - Take gloves, put the left one on the right hand.
Put the right glove on your left hand. Smile. Say ‘I want to pick up nice dirty rubbish'. Take a rubbish bag. Repeat Find rubbish, pick up rubbish, put it into rubbish bag End Repeat Smile.

Result - You should have a nice clean Mere Mere racetrack and you should feel like a tidy kiwi.

By Trudy

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Round the Bays

When? 23 March 1997
Where? Auckland Waterfront
Who? Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy

Trudy was 'walking' around the Bays with some work mates and convinced Rae and Karlene to come along too. That is, after Karlene made sure we were actually walking and not (shock, horror) running. So we got up bright and early and dressed in our traditional Waitakere tramping uniforms (crew T-Shirts, shorts, hats & Tramping Boots) and hoped that the weather would be fine.

We arrived (a little too early) spent 3/4 of an hour looking for a ladies room, and got our numbers pinned on. While we were waiting for the others we were spotted by John from Hillcrest, who volunteered to walk with us - well part of the way at least.

As we started - slowly as there were thousands of people - a guy with a microphone up a tower was identifying groups of people from businesses, clubs etc. But unfortunately he missed us, even though we walked close together to be seen. After about 1/2 an hour of walking we had a good pace going and looked at all the silly people there. For example the ‘beer wagon' lot who were pulling a cart (filled with Beer & a BBQ on the back) clutching beer Jugs and shouting songs.

Then it started to rain. And rain. And rain some more. Trudy had her lovely pink plastic poncho which when combined with her trendy new haircut made her look like a pixie. Karlene had a similar coat in her bag but decided that as she was already a bit wet, it might as well stay in its packet. Rae had an umbrella, but unfortunately for her, Karlene hogged it and kept snug and dry in the middle of Rae & Trudy, while Rae got absolutely soaked, as she was on the side that the rain was coming down.

After an hour or so of cold hard rain, we reached the last Bay and the sun came out. By this time Rae's boots were very waterlogged and she had a hard time walking with the extra weight.

But finally we made it to the finish line and got our ‘free' fresh up drinks.

By Karlene

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Pitt Stop

When? 25 May 1997
Where? North Shore
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Jo, Karlene, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy

We invaded this Venturer run event, hoping to get a bit of a reputation with the Venturers. Some of the events were really strange (doing the bird dance in the middle of a crowded park), others were physically draining (running down and up Mt Victoria to get a name off a gravestone) and others were mentally challenging (building a rope bridge over a stream). One thing was the same for all the bases - the ease with which the judges could be bribed. Rodney, Jo, Rae and Brendan's team took full advantage of this. We bribed nearly every judge (with our stock pile of lollies, drinks and other goodies) and hence got full points - and won! We felt bad for beating the Venturers at their own game, but couldn't believe no one else had caught onto the bribery thing.

By Raewyn

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Experience Diving

When? 7 June 1997
Where? Henderson Pool
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Jo, Karlene, Rodney, Trudy

On went the tanks, the booties, the flippers, the masks, in went the thing you put in your mouth, dive, dive, dive and we all headed for the bottom of the pool, all 5 metres of it. Round we went like goldfish in a bowl, look out there's a shark, help! No worries it's just Trudy. The event lasted about 1 hour total. After that we went for a spa and then into a steam room.

By Darryn

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Car Rally

When? 12 July 1997
Where? West Auckland
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Jo, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy

Auckland Area Rovers held their car rally on the 12th of July. This rally was organised by the previous year's winners, Waitakere. Their inexperience in the area of car rally organisation was no hinderance to their enthusiasm for the job. Setting their minds and vehicles in motion, they came up with 12 pages of cryptic directions and questions about obscure objects along the route.

On the competition day, 6 teams gathered at Waitakere's den to try their hand at navigating through West Auckland. For some, it was a bit of a worry that two of the cars were filled solely with women. One of these teams named themselves "Topless Four" - not because of any interesting choices in apparel, but because they were being transported in Louisa's shiny black convertable. The other female team made an impressive start when they headed off at great speed in the wrong direction.

The directions took the teams around Waitakere's "home turf" - Whenuapai, Henderson, Te Atatu, New Lynn and the Waitakere Ranges. One of the interesting questions was to find the length of a certain piece of anatomy on a Maori figure at the Arataki Visitors Centre. Another very cryptic clue, which no one understood, proved that there are no William Wordsworth Scholars in the Auckland Rovers (I wandered lonely as a cloud into ... Daffodil Street of course!).

The rally proved to be a breeze for some, and not so easy for others. The poor Hillcrest team (the one's who headed in the wrong direction) got lost half way through and gave up. No one's car broke down though, which was an improvement on last year. The winner was the team from Roskill, who proved to be very good guessers. The Camel Hunt (being held at the same time) was won by the "Topless Four".

By Raewyn

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When? 23 August - 31 August 1997
Where? Horopito Scout Hut
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Raewyn, Trudy

We were a bit worried about the prospects for our ski trip this year - Trudy managed to get sick with tonsillitis a few days before we were due to leave. Luckily she was feeling well enough to come with us when it came to our Saturday morning departure date. On our way down we stopped over at Waitomo to do some Black Water Rafting. Unfortunately Trudy couldn't join us in that activity (it was inadvisable due to her sickness). But Raewyn, Brendan and Darryn had a good time - it was freezing cold, but worth it for the experience of floating down a pitch black tunnel in a tyre tube, staring at thousands of glow worms above us. That night we stayed in Te Kuiti in a little cabin with no pink bats (ie. it was freezing). Next day we completed our journey down to Horopito and settled in beside a nice warm fire.

During the week we got a mix of rainy snowy horrible days versus lovely blue skies, soft snow, "I'm on the top of the world" skiing days. This year the nice, extremely enjoyable days seemed to outnumber the "what am I doing here" days. One day we even got an extra hour's skiing - apparently one of the lifts had broken down earlier in the day, meaning they shut the lifts an hour later to make up for it - bonus! We all seemed to make good progress in our skiing during the week. Darryn had trouble staying upright on his first day skiing, but was pretty good by the end of the week. We all took lessons too. We skied a mixture of Whakapapa and Turoa, but decided that Whakapapa was our favourite. We went to the Tokaanu hot pools twice during our stay, as per tradition. Other nights we read, played chess (Scacomato) and played cards. We had a few visitors during the week. Raewyn's brother Russell stayed with us for a few days at the beginning, and Keith - a Rover from MOB Crew (Kapiti) stayed with us the last few days.

By Raewyn.

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Go Carting

When? 6 September 1997
Where? Central Park Drive
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Dean, Eugenie, Jeff, Jo, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy, Angelique, Clint

80 laps of exhilarating adrenaline pumping fun. An attendant paired us up boy/girl where possible. Some of us were more hesitant than others. But for the dare devils it was all on.

We had the option to wear a trendy florescent racing suit, but the hair net & helmets were a must. After only 1-2 laps I was sweating like a stuffed pig under that helmet. Thank goodness I had a good deodorant.

I really liked the track especially the hairpin where you could really let your ass hang out. Jo & Clint won the race YES! and Clint got the fastest lap time. The first 4 teams were the only ones to get their full 80 laps which was a bit unfair. The coke and choc made the winning even sweeter.

Dean and Karlene came last and Phil who's a very safe driver took the corners exceptionally slower than most.

There were many near misses & many prangs for that matter. I had one major near miss but I managed to bypass the road block caused by Phil & Dean who had smashed into each other disabling one cart. I misjudged how close a corner was & ploughed into it, but luckily I managed to push my way free & I got back into the running.

I thought it was a bit pricy at $38 - so it's not something I'd do every weekend. But all in all it was one hell of an experience.

Get out there & do it.

By Jo

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Ngarahoe Climb

When? 25 October - 27 October 1997
Where? Tongarairo National Park
Who? Brendan, Chris (old), Darryn, Eugenie, Karlene, Raewyn,
Rodney, Trudy, Keith, Katie

Keith, our friend from MOB crew in Kapiti, invited us to climb Mt. Ngarahoe over Labour weekend. None of us had ever done anything like climbing in snow, so we hoped that Keith knew what he was doing. He seemed to anyway. He brought along his friend Katie, and we were also joined by Chris Whiting - an ex crew member on holiday here from Australia.

The drive down was somehow very familiar. Brendan's car was witness to a near bad accident when an overloaded trailer swung dangerously out of control, hurled bricks over the road, and skidded into the curb. Luckily no one was hurt. We had fun playing with Brendan's Dad's walkie talkies on the way down. We managed to find somewhere to hire ice axes and crampons from (Skotel in Whakapapa Village), met up with Keith and Katie, and followed them to the start of our walk. The weather was absolutely fab. We carried our packs for about a 2 hour walk to the base of the Mt Ngarahoe Saddle. This was easier typed than done for Raewyn, Trudy and Karlene who (we are not ashamed to admit) are a bunch of un-fit girls. When we finally got to the campsite ("what took you so long?") we set up our campsite and cooked up some dinner.

In the morning we awoke to disappointingly cloudy conditions. Oh well, we were optimistic, and decided that the clouds would clear the moment we reached the summit. We started our climb early. It took quite a while (for us girls) to reach the top of the saddle - which was also the snow line. From there it was easy for a while until we got into the major gradient of the hill. The big boys went on ahead, climbing straight up, while Keith lead us girls, making steps for us in zig zags up the mountain. We got into a few icy patches which hindered our progress, but we made it in the end, and scurried up to the top of the inner crater ("what took you so long?"). Unfortunately our predictions hadn't come true - the cloud remained, and some snow fell from the sky too, just to add to our annoyance. Some went for the extra walk to the summit, but Raewyn, Trudy and Karlene decided that the rising steam from the yonder rocky hill might mean warmth - and we were right too. When the others got back we sat down and ate lunch over the steam vents. After lunch was the fun part - the decent. We sat on our bums, dug our ice axes into the snow and went flying down the mountain. This was scary at first but once we got the hang of it (ie worked out how to stop) it was fantastic. Especially in the few moments when the clouds cleared and the sun came out. Karlene wasn't so keen on the sliding down the hill idea, so her and Keith took the long way down (although he stopped short at giving her a piggy back ride we assume). When the snow ended we were forced to again use our tired legs to transport ourselves the rest of the way down. This walk proved to be a bit tedious (it rained a bit too) but we got there at last ("what took you so long?") and collapsed in a heap to relax. About ten minutes later the clouds completely cleared, the sun came out, and the mountain was in plain view - typical!

Next day the fantastic weather resumed, and we had to hike out in surprisingly hot conditions. Raewyn, Karlene and Trudy once again took a little longer than the others ("what took you so long?"). We headed off to the ever popular Tokaanu Hot Pools before getting some food in Turangi and travelling back home.

By Raewyn

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When? 7 November 1997
Where? New Lynn
Who? Brendan, Chris, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy

A beginners guide on how not to dance, or a gathering of the uncoordinated. That's how some of the crew could have been described.

As beginners we were shown a few moves which we practised. (I suppose over time we could have gotten better?)

For $10 and a 1 hour session it wasn't too bad, next time we'll know better.

By Chris

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When? 12 December 1997
Where? One Tree Hill Observatory
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Raewyn, Trudy

We were meant to be going to Lord of the Dance, but Michael Flaterley got sick. We consoled ourselves by going to see some stars of the shining in the sky kind instead. In the yard we got to see Jupiter and Saturn through their telescope. Surprisingly the blurs of light in the sky turned into recognisable planets when viewed at magnification. That is when we finally got to see them - they kept getting obscured by the inconsiderate clouds drifting over the sky. Then we got to see the star dome presentation. We learnt some really exciting things about the universe. Trudy, due to some miracle of insufficient astronomical education at primary school, learnt more than most. My favourite acquired fact is that Alpha Centuri is the closest star to us other than the sun. It's 4 light years away, however in our current (known) fastest space vehicle it would take 70,000 years to get there.

By Raewyn

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