Two years ago, all bright-eyed and naive of what to expect from a half-marathon or a 120km walk through northern Spain, on Wellington 7’s Saturday, I walked to Pencarrow head for the first time. The weather was beautiful and then eerie, we saw dolphins and had lunch at the old lighthouse up on the hill, and then a giant slab of cake at Day’s Bay whilst waiting for the ferry back to Wellington.
I fell in love with Pencarrow head on that walk. The colours, the water, the singing cliffs… everything about that stretch of coastline makes me happy. I’ve done it a few more times since. And today, on Wellington 7’s Saturday, I did it again, to walk, to clear my lungs, and to train for the round the bays that is starting to creep over the horizon. 2 weeks tomorrow!
Unlike that beautiful, still day in 2012, today there was the promise of drizzle, and a light southerly was blowing. I was aiming for a full 21km loop – from the Wahine mast to the middle of Fitzroy Bay and back. The start was alright. There was low cloud on the tips of the hills, and the Miramar Peninsula and beyond were hazy were mist and rain. I even managed a few photos on my outward track.
Now, it’s 7.2km from the Wahine mast to the lower Pencarrow lighthouse, which sits with nothing between it and Antarctica but a few penguins, a couple of whaling ships, and Greenpeace. And the southerly was picking up as I wend my way around the bays. And then the heavens opened. It has been drizzling – and that was fine – but somebody opened the tap about 2km to the lighthouse. Much squelching ensued, as damnit, I was going to make it to the lighthouse, if nothing else.
And I did. I got there as the Stena Alegra started her entrance into Wellington Harbour past Barrett’s reef. And I got hit by the very brisk southerly that had been lurking behind the hills. A brief touch of the lighthouse, a few photos, and the fastest return 7km I’ve done followed. The weather has really set in (I almost swam to yoga earlier, and I’m busy watching the rain swirl past the lights at Westpac Stadium now), but it was absolutely stunning to be out there with the water, the cicadas, the sheep and wind. I really do love that walk.
Now for some sock knitting, and 7’s finals rugby (from the comfort of my own lounge).