Wednesday, October 14, 2009
2009. A Bit of Pegasus Bay
2009. Broad Park Carpark, Waimairi Beach, Christchurch
As I wanted to walk a bit of Pegasus Bay from Broad Park to Spencer Park, I parked my car by Broad Park kids' playground near Waimairi Beach. By several Broad Park signs, a sign stated:
SOUTHERN PEGASUS BAY TRACK
SPENCER PARK 7 KM
WAIMAKARIRI RIVER MOUTH 13 KM
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track Sign & Other Signs, Broad Park, Christchurch
In drizzly weather, along a wide shingle track, I walked northwards between houses on my left and grassy dunes on my right. By macrocarpas, a bearded jogger passed going to the carpark.
2009. Start of Southern Pegasus Bay Track, Broad Park, Waimairi Beach, Christchurch
2009. Waimairi Beach Access, Southern Pegasus Bay Track, Christchurch. Port Hills backdrop
2009. Bottle Lake Forest Park Sign, Southern Pegasus Bay Track, Christchurch
I passed several BEACH ACCESS signs with side tracks going over dunes to Pegasus Bay. While I read a BOTTLE LAKE FOREST PARK sign, a couple about my age greeted me while walking northwards.
2009. Side Tracks from Southern Pegasus Bay Track to Bottle Lake Forest, Christchurch
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track: Dune Access to Pond by Bottle Lake Forest, Christchurch
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track: Broom on Grassy Dunes. Banks Peninsula backdrop
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track: Purple Groundsel, Senecio elegans & Lupins on Dune
I climbed a dune and saw ducks in a pond in wasteland by Bottle Lake Forest. Besides ubiquitous grass, the dunes grew scattered cabbage trees, yellow flowering broom, lupins and iceplants, Carpobrotus edulis, also SA purple groundsel, Senecio elegans, blackberry brambles and pines.
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track north-eastern view of Pegasus Bay. Iceplant, Carpobrotus edulis in foreground
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track southern view of Grassy Dunes & Bottle Lake Forest. Banks Peninsula / Port Hills backdrop
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track going north
As my Nikon memory card was full, I sat on shelter belt pine needles while deleting old coolpix. Westwards I saw the high green bank of Bottle Lake Landfill Site, which wafted Christchurch rubbish pongs on the north-west wind. Below the Landfill Site I saw dying pines, and wondered if toxic leachate was killing them?
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track looking west
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track western view of Dying Pines below Bottle Lake Landfill Site
2009. Direction Signs, Southern Pegasus Bay Track, Bottle Lake Forest
Passing another Bottle Lake Forest Park sign, I continued northwards through pines along a shared MTB / walking track, hardened by shingle and road rubble, which was hard on my feet.
Southern Pegasus Bay Track meandered through boring monoculture pines, and on a dune crest I had northern views across Pegasus Bay to Kaikouras, and southern views of Port Hills and Banks Peninsula covered by a long white cloud.
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track north-eastern view over Pegasus Bay
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track south-eastern view over Pegasus Bay. Cloudy Banks Peninsula backdrop
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track side track to Bottle Lake Forest
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track going north through Bottle Lake Forest
An MTB passed northwards. A dune gap on my left led to Uniform Road, Zulu Road and Tango Road, which served Bottle Lake Forest.
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track side track view of Uniform Road & Tango Road, Bottle Lake Forest
2009. Zulu Rd & Uniform Rd Signs, Bottle Lake Forest
2009. Fire Scorched Pines, Bottle Lake Forest
Another MTB passed northwards. Pines became wasteland where fire had destroyed trees: scorched stumps, branches, logs, wood chip heaps lay by the track. Live pine trunks were scorched too.
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track north-eastern view of Pegasus Bay
2009. Southern Pegasus Bay Track south-eastern view of Pegasus Bay & long white cloud over Banks Peninsula
Ambling along dune crests again, with more Pegasus Bay and long white cloud over Banks Peninsula views, two yelling MTBs passed northwards. I wondered why they didn't cycle along the beach? As I'd wandered past so many pollinating pines during the last month, pine pollen definitely didn't give me hay fever. I had yet to discover what gave me hay fever. I suspected it was windblown poisons like 1080, Brodifacoum, Cholecalciferol, potassium cyanide, prolifically used in NZ.
2009. Broom beside Southern Pegasus Bay Track, south of Spencer Park
2009. Male Pine Cones, Southern Pegasus Bay Track
2009. Shared Use Track / Southern Pegasus Bay Track Fork, south of Spencer Park
I walked through broom wasteland before more pines before Spencer Park. I passed two MTB track signs pointing in opposite directions. I continued northwards along a softer pine track away from hardened shared use tracks.
At the first Spencer Park picnic spot below pines, I kicked my jandals off and crossed dunes to the beach. I passed pink flowering tamarisks hidden behind dunes. It had taken me 2 hours to dawdle from Broad Park along Southern Pegasus Bay Track to Spencer Park.
2009. Spencer Park Dune view of Pegasus Bay & long white cloud over Banks Peninsula. Tamarisk in foreground
2009. Spencer Park Dune view of Pegasus Bay & long white cloud over Banks Peninsula
2009. Pegasus Bay Beach Driftwood south-eastern view of long white cloud over Banks Peninsula
As I preferred beach walking, I returned southwards to Broad Park along the beach.
2009. Gulls, Pegasus Bay near Spencer Park
2009. Dead Fish, Pegasus Bay near Spencer Park
2009. Pegasus Bay: South Island Pied Oystercatchers' southern view of Redcliffs, Port Hills & Banks Peninsula
2009. Footprints, Pegasus Bay & Gull. Kaikoura Range backdrop
On the shoreline I disturbed two gulls pecking a dead fish. A black oystercatcher with red beak flew overhead northwards. Two south island pied oystercatchers looped behind me, keeping their distance while I plodded south.
2009. Pegasus Bay southern view of long white cloud over Banks Peninsula
A bloke my age wearing joggers waved a greeting while plodding northwards. We passed a driftwood pyramid which someone had stuck in the sand.
I had the beach to myself for a while: I passed waves, and seaweed, and shells, and driftwood below dunes. Groups of gulls stood on the shoreline watching water receding, revealing prey.
2009. Pegasus Bay Gulls view of long white cloud over Lyttelton between Port Hills & Banks Peninsula
2009. Footprints by Pegasus Bay
2009. Pegasus Bay Dune Access to Southern Pegasus Bay Track
Southwards I saw Adderley Head, Godley Head, Scarborough, Redcliffs, Mount Pleasant, stretching into Pegasus Bay, the long white cloud over Mt Herbert & Banks Peninsula.
2009. Pegasus Bay Dune Access to Southern Pegasus Bay Track & Bottle Lake Forest
Near Waimairi Beach a tall girl with short black hair, jeans and a dog passed northwards. We smiled. We looked back. I passed a mother playing amongst driftwood with her four kids.
2009. Waimairi Beach southern view of Pegasus Bay & Banks Peninsula
2009. Waimari Beach northern view of Pegasus Bay Joggers
By a smelly concrete outflow pipe, a man jogged with two dogs northwards. Despite starting my walk in drizzle, a fresh nor-wester on my back and late afternoon sun shoved clouds off Banks Peninsula. In the distance above Lyttelton Port Hills, I watched the last few clouds evaporate on their way to Sign of the Bellbird.
2009. Waimairi Beach Driftwood view of Pegasus Bay & Banks Peninsula
After my 1.5 hours southern beach ramble I reached my car at Broad Park. Walking a bit of Pegasus Bay was quicker than meandering MTB tracks in the pine forest.
2009. Waimairi Beach Dune view of Pegasus Bay & Banks Peninsula. Iceplant, Carpobrotus edulis in foreground
Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.