What a blessing to have a few days off work – then to allow myself the time to wander the areas of wilderness in and around Makarora and the Wilkin Valley.
Times of peace and solitude – to enjoy and value the bush, the vast valley, the towering hills and rivers. The streams and waterfalls.
Siberia lies within the Wilkin valley. Many who venture there either fly right in on a small plane (4 – 5 seater), or get a jet-boat ride up the Wilkin river to a place called Kerrin Forks. From there its a good 2 – 3 hour tramp, (mostly uphill I might add) to Siberia hut.
The 20 bed hut was rebuilt in 2011 to replace the older hut which was burnt down earlier that year.
Its cosy, and warm with a good fire and windows with amazing views the valley and to the hills all around.
One thing I love about tramping is the people I meet on the way, from all walks of life, and many from different countries. Interesting conversations take place in the soft candle light.
Looking out at night the sky is lit – not by street lights, but by the stars and the moon, the planets seem so much closer when not fighting to be seen above the street-lights we have in our cities and towns. Bedtime comes around much earlier due to the mind telling you it must be ‘very late’ as its so so dark!
Weary bones after a days tramping snuggle into the down sleeping bag, until the morning when I thought I would get started on the next day’s walk earlier than planned … until I looked out and saw mist and fog swathing the valley. After some deliberation – and stumbling down the torch-lit track, I waited another hour till I could see more than a foot in front of me. Wise decision.
I loved the walk through streams, bush, clambering over rocky outcrops – all the time enjoying the different views around each corner.
The verse came to mind, “I lift my eyes to the hills – from who does my help come from – my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
The grandeur, the majestic mountains, the bitterly cold water straight from the glacial lakes, the footprints of those elusive deer (just ask the hunters who were staying there …) yet early in the morning their prints clearly show their tracks to get a refreshing drink.
I did notice the lack of bird song as opposed to other tramping tracks I have walked. This is apparently due to a lack of funding for trapping in the more remote areas.
It had been about 14 years since I last visited Siberia – at that time I was assisting the volunteer hut warden for a week or two. I have now decided that my next visit will not take as long, as I still have the areas I did not get to walk to due to time constraints.
The time of year though was ideal, as the sandflies which are normally out in abundance were not as prolific near the hut this time. A blessing indeed!