366 days of gratitude

It started as a reunion of our first flat in Dunedin and grew to include any friends who’d known us when we were students.

Finding a when and where that suited everyone was like herding cats but we eventually agreed on this weekend in Twizel.

Why Twizel? One of our number had suggested Lake Ohau but the lodge couldn’t accommodate us all and Twizel was close.

As the date approached some dropped out and we ended up with the five of us who had flatted together (three hes and two shes) plus three wives, one husband, another friend from Dunedin student days and three children (offspring of one of the former flatmates).

The flatmates and spice have kept in semi-regular contact over the years but most of us hadn’t seen the friend since the weeding of one of our number 32 years ago. That didn’t matter, as we reminisced, laughed, caught up on who’d done what and laughed lots more.

Waking to a cloudless blue sky yesterday we agreed that an expedition to Mount Cook was called for.

Those with little people walked up the Hooker Valley while the rest of us climbed up to the Red Tarns. They’re about 300 metres up via about 1,000 steps which some managed more easily than others, however the view once there was worth it.

red-tarns

mt-cook

We regrouped for lunch after which the parents and little people returned to Twizel to play, four others took a helicopter flight while the rest of us walked up the Hooker Valley (in the hope my theory that if you’ve gone up and down steep hills, a walk over flattish territory keeps you from getting stiff would work, and it did).

This morning we had a long leisurely breakfast before three headed north, five headed south and the other five of us took the long way home via Lake Ohau and the Temple Valley.

temple

Now I’m home again, reflecting on the blessing of friendships which endure, nature’s beauty and the opportunity to explore it with very few other people and oh how I’m grateful for all of that.

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