Pain for Pleasure (Part Three) – Island Saddle / Molesworth Station

“On a Mish” #221 Pain for Pleasure (Part Three). Island Saddle / Molesworth Station. 21.11.2020. After seeing a movie about one of Shackleton’s epic adventures I could see how humans could see either side of the story. One side is that of punishment and potential death, and the other is the sense of adventure and the quest for achievement. Pain for pleasure is all part of a great quest into the unknown, and as I began my quest back to good health after my hip accident I knew I was stepping into the unknown as I began my recovery, actually I was limping my way on this journey…

My quest for a campsite was a much smaller mish than any of Shackleton’s adventures, but it was as important to me as how the great explorer felt about his missions. He showed me the power of determination, a power that was now being transferred onto the slopes of a barren peak the the upper reaches of Molesworth Station.

I slowly limped my way back down to the car to get my second pack. This one was a little bit heavier than the first one and I paused at the car for a while knowing what was ahead of me. While preparing myself I saw the only other sign of life I had seen since leaving Hanmer Springs. A lone bus rolled by with what looked like retirees enjoying a part of the country they might not have had a chance to see when they were younger. I got the same puzzled look I have got at many different parts of the country when I have a pack shouldered and there is no track or obvious location for me to go to in sight. Liking this and the fact that I was much younger than most of the people in the bus gave me extra effort energy to get up the hill to my other pack and camping site.

After many stops and the odd curse word at myself for putting myself through the painful experience. I could tell deep down that everything was going to be worth it and after a half hour break and with the sun making its way towards the western skyline, I began to set up my tent.

My evening was accompanied by the sweet sound of fabric lightly fluttering. To my surprise the wind dropped to near nothing and this meant my camp cooker flame wasn’t bothered one bit. After a tasty feed with a view I had craved more than any meal I gathered my thoughts and retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag and my first night in the mountains for a very long time.

Early-ish the next day I rolled into a sore sleepy state of awakeness. My hip had gotten the better of me during the night but the fact that I could just unzip my tent and see where I was gave me the motivation to get myself and my gear off the mountain. After smashing a good breakfast I readied my two packs and with that I began my slow limp back to the car. I am very thankful for walking poles as they give us broken people an opportunity to ‘cheat’ and get around using things like your legs when hiking. With my poles put to their limits I managed to drag everything back to the car and after a quick nana-nap I began the drive south to Christchurch.

The mish was a massive success , one almost as big as Molesworth station. I hadn’t travelled far but got the views and feeling of an outdoor epic. I didn’t realise how much I needed this in my life until I had done it. It wasn’t easy but with a little pain came a large amount of pleasure!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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