A cool southerly blustery wind did nothing to dissuade Ryman residents from aiming for the top of Halswell Quarry.
Today residents from a number of Christchurch villages including Anthony Wilding, Diana Isaac, Ngaio Marsh, Woodcote and Charles Upham gave a huge thumbs as they set out on the second of Friday inter-village walks being held over the month of September.
The venue, for the kilometre-based Walking for Wellness: Everest Challenge was Halswell Quarry Rim Track, and the main car park was buzzing with Ryman residents ready to do the 2km circuit. There was a coffee house at the end for those wanting a reward for endeavour.
The walk takes those who set themselves the challenge on a tour of a dramatic quarry face. The site is believed to have been the oldest continually operated quarry in Australasia.
The rim track is suitable for all ages. It starts from the main carpark and heads up the hill above the old quarry buildings, showcasing panoramic views of the Southern Alps and the city. Some residents took the time to look at the car park information panels depicting the workings and historic features of the quarry.
The walk steps counted towards the Everest challenge. With their end-to-end app the residents have set themselves up for a virtual base camp challenge.
Anthony Wilding resident John Jennings says having done the Travis Wetlands walk, last week, he was eager to continue to take up the challenge then reward himself with a coffee.
Ngaio Marsh resident Doreen Waugh says the Christchurch walks are proving to be scenic and exploratory, particularly as she spent nearly 20 years living outside the city. “I was in Oamaru for 17 years. I like revisiting a lot of the parks and walkways – they’ve been improved incredibly in that time. (I remember) this was a bit of a wilderness, now it’s fabulous.”
Charles Upham resident Wayne Calvert was along for the company and to continue his daily passion for walking, which includes membership of a Rangiora tramping club.
He took part in last year’s walking for Wellness challenge (A 60km walk completed in the month of October) as both a physical challenge and as a great way to increase a sense of wellbeing.
Wayne has done some of the world’s great walks including Camino de Santiago and an 18-day crossing of the north of England. About six years ago he did more than half the 800 kilometres that make up the Camino de Santiago, sometimes known as the Way of St James.
He started his tour in Lyon. Being a pilgrimage-based route there were plenty of relics to discover along the way, he says. Since 2013 the Camino has attracted in the order of 200,000 pilgrims or visitors a year.
In New Zealand and Australian Ryman villages, the walk challenges have taken place over the past two years.
In New Zealand, Ryman residents are using their steps on a virtual walk through the Khumbu region of north-eastern Nepal. They started from the Nepalese mountain town of Namche Bazaar, located in the Khumbu rural region of north-eastern Nepal.
At around six kilometres the walkers passed through Tengboche, the site of another town and a large Buddhist monastery and onwards past Pheriche, Lobuche, to the small settlement of Gorak Shep, before reaching base camp at 5,364 metres. Some are doing the return walk.