Women Walk the World 29th April 2012

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One had a sense of history walking up the Old Ridge Road and looking back on the vast country below.

By 1886 the population on the Ridge Road had reached its peak of 70 and it was the Ridge Road that carried most of the traffic. Everything came that way from Mr A. Todd’s smart pony trap to the drovers, mobs of sheep, (Fernie Bros drove theirs that way), mail and wool wagons sending up their clouds of dust….An accomodation house on Rata flat was well patronised by drovers bringing stock down from big inland stations….The Ridge Road was remarkably well graded with not one steep hill and very few sharp corners.It was surveyed by Mr Allan Robinson, was trouble free and did not suffer from washouts or slips…Regular users travelled to Rata Flat, The Shades, Siberia, and Mt View.

Quote from “The Road to Mangamahu”

This walk on the historic Ridge Road Mangamahu, was part of a world wide fundraiser, Associated Country Women of the World, Women Walk the World Challenge, and the Fordell/ Mangamahu Rural Women.

There were about 400 particpants throughout New Zealand.

As part of this  challenge  members and friends   ‘walked the length of New Zealand’,

about 1600 km.

The Old Ridge Road is 15 kms, long.  There were 19 participants, in the local group. A collective walk of 341kms..

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Nga Waiiriki Reserve Mangamahu

Just a few minutes up the road from the hotel is a beautiful native reserve.

Ancient totara matai and rimu trees, fantails tui and kereru.

A perfect place to be. To stand still. To breathe.

 

 

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At the Hotel Mangamahu

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Welcome to a view of the World from Mangamahu New Zealand

Whangaehu misty river

 

 

When hau [the wind] took sail,

 into his hand and holding Turoa’s rod,

He  crossed the stream and drank.

He called the river Whanganui [the great harbour]

The mist rose from another river

And this he called  Whangaehu [the misty river]

The Whangaehu river has its source on the eastern side of Ruapehu’s crater lake. It is particularly vunerable to any activity in the mountain. The river dominates the valley and the lives of the people who live there.

The Whangaehu drains the eastern slope of the crater by slow percolation through and beneath an ice dam.

From time to time the ice dam is breached and the river roars down the mountainside and through the valley.

Lahar is volcanic mud flow. Volcanic activity or heavy rain can generate lahar.

Lahars have occurred

Feb 13 1861, May 1 1889, March 10 1895, 1903, Jan 23 1925, Dec 24 1953, 1996,

There is a sulpher spring in the Te pohue valley [Ruakiwi]

It bubbles up then cascades into a pool below, milky colouredwaterwith a strong sulpher smell, huge eels live in the pool. A strong sulpher smell indicates a change in the weather.

Excursions from Wanganui Fordell Mangamahu Mangakaretu 1890’s

This excursion maybe made in a buggy or on horse back as far as Mangamahu and back in a day. If it be intended to see the fine forest country and river scenery a second  day will be required.

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