Listening to the Silence of Snow (Part One) – Borland Burn

“On a Mish” #395 Listening to the Silence of Snow (Part One). Borland Burn (South Branch). Fiordland National Park. 5.3.2024. I have found that the thing I have missed while sitting on the sidelines with my hip and back injury is getting a sense of achievement. Along with all my outdoor adventures, I used to work in an industry where you see firsthand if the customer is enjoying themselves. After being told that I wouldn’t be returning to my former job I was left feeling a little lost and definitely disappointed. But when times are tough, luckily I can point my car in the direction of Fiordland National Park, and then I let the magic of the mountains do the rest…

When things aren’t going to plan, then modify the plan. Although I was gutted about not being able to return to the life I knew, I was well aware that it was a possibility. The fact that I cannot just simply return to 40+ hour weeks after so long away means my return to work won’t be as easy as 1,2,3. As stated I was really hoping that my old work could help ease me back into the working game, but it turned out that they weren’t keen on playing. The unexpected news left me needing a getaway in paradise, which for me is just up (or down) the road!

I had recently been out to Gore (and beyond) to have a look at a potential new furry family member. Instead of driving for two and a half hours one way and back again, I thought I’d make it a round trip and visit my ‘Brother from another mother’ Mr. Bus Keys (Dan). At the time another member of the Active Hearts Foundation Whanau was in town, and I just had to get down to Rivertown (Riverton / Aparima, but ‘town’ sounded better in this situation!) and have a catch up with the team.

My drive took me through parts of Southland that I had never seen before, and it was a real eye opener about how big the Provence really is. From farmlands to Fiordland, the area has everything – apart from masses of humans and traffic. Before making the move south I used to think that Southland was a place you went to be cold, but now I know it is a place warm with wild wilderness that will keep an outdoor addict occupied for a lifetime.

While I was hanging out on the South Coast a storm was brewing in the Southern Ocean and, after a surprisingly warm day, nature unleashed her fury. 26 degrees became six, and with the temperature drop came wild wind and heavy rain. It was a different story in the mountains as the cold snap had brought the freezing air level down, and instead of rain it was snowing heavily up high. If possible, I do everything I can to listen to the silence of snow – injury, or no injury. So, after an excellent couple of days of talking Nepal and eating some awesome food, I packed my things and began to drive to a place I was very familiar with but hadn’t been to in over two years.

My plan was to drive to the Borland Road and then come up with some sort of plan to get out and about. Luckily my days in Riverton were very relaxing and it was the best way to build up the energy to do something epic in the now very snowy mountains. After about an hour’s drive from Aparima Riverton I turned off Highway 99 and began my quest up the Borland Road. All of a sudden, my worries about the world and how I was going to fit into it didn’t seem as big a deal as back in the real world. It was time to forget about the negative and focus on what I love the most…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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