The Tramper’s Las Vegas

A postcard from the Orongorongo Valley

Every time I go to the Orongorongo Valley I drink too much. It’s not normally something I would do on a tramp, as space and tonnage are precious in my pack. But there’s something about the easy one to two hour walk on a nice graded path that means we always take more booze than we need.

In the valley on popular weekends, the dozens of huts and the constant stream of people wandering up and down the river, create an almost carnival-like atmosphere. At night it’s not uncommon to hear laughter drifting across the valley. It feels a bit like the New Zealand tramping equivalent of Las Vegas. And with that comes a little excess.

On this particular trip, we decided to take a three litre cask of red wine between two of us, mainly because we never got around to emptying any of it out before we left. We drank it though, sharing it with friends, playing cards and eating bacon and egg pie.