By Miia, 15 September 2009
Everyone were really excited about this Mid Winter Christmas thing, and for us Finnish people it sounded a bit funny...We have the real Christmas in winter, and most of the times there's even snow! (At least in Lapland..) We heard that Father Christmas would pay us a visit and even give us some presents. We had to check out what's all the fuss about!
I was in the "late group" with Sampo, Terra, Natalie and Craig, we left around noon from the Hunter carpark. Other groups had already met at 9am and left propably around 11am after organizing all 50 people in the cars... At the beginning the plans were to go to a hut where we could see maybe some snow, but because the huge success of the trip, we were heading to Totara Flats Hut, which is by the river so no snow for us! We had made our first NZ tramping trip with my boyfriend Sampo 3 weeks ago and actually stayed in the same hut and walked the same track...
We had a nice sunny weather and walked in a good pace, and actually even had a run through the flats :D and after 3 hours, just before sunset, we arrived to the hut where the others already were waiting for us. Some of our friends had arrived just 30minutes before us after a nice slow walk I guess with many picturetaking breaks. Sampo took a quick refreshing dip in the river, everyone thought he's crazy, but don't worry, it's normal, he's from Finland. After rest of our group arrived we started to cook our dinner. For starters we had cheese and crackers, maindish was tortillas and I can't remember the dessert, maybe it was just wine, cider, beer and maybe more wine? Later we toasted some marshmallows on a stove and enjoyed, of course, some Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.
I was really looking forward meeting Father Christmas, most of us had bought the 2$ gifts for secret santa. Turned out that Father Christmas had been so lazy, that he forgot his red uniform home, so he even had to borrow one of our red christmashats. In this point I started to have suspicions about his origin... Because, IF he'd travelled 40hours from the Finnish polar circle, where he really lives in a hill called Korvatunturi, I'm sure his elves would've packed his uniform with him! Eventually there came my turn to go and sit on Santa's knee, he ofcourse knew I'm from Finland and he tried to make me admit that Santa is really from Greenland and not from Finland. Well that's just stupid! He had a weird accent in his voice, like he would be from Denmark or something... Anyway I finally got a present, and guess what I got: potatoes! It was just what I wanted! Secret santa was really fun, but some idiots ruined it by putting in rubbish or some stuff teared down from the hut as "gifts", stupid just stupid...
The evening went on in the dark and cold night. We saw amazing moon and a sky filled with stars. We also got to experience the circle of warmth with Craig, it worked, sweet! There was half naked people playing with candle wax, carrying eachothers around, doing crazy stuff... I have learned that's just normal behavior in the club trips? Night went on, the number of empty bottles increased on the tables and finally people crawled in to their sleepingbags and the snoring began.
The morning was lovely and sunny, the smell of bacon and eggs woke us up. Unfortunately that wasn't our breakfast.. Next time..next time I will bring some bacon as well. After breakfast and cleaning the hut we started our journey back to the carpark. I guess everyone wasn't aware of the fact that you have to carry your own rubbish back to civilisation, so some had to carry others empty bottles in their packs. There was a lot new members on the trip, so maybe giving people more information about the basic rules in the bush and the huts before heading to the track would help.
Walk back to the cars was great, sun was shining and everyone seemed happy! At least I didn't notice any major hangover-related problems. On our way we got an invitation to have sunday dinner at Kate's place! Oh yes it sounded so good! The weekend was really a lot of fun, we made a lot new friends and got to enjoy the New Zealand nature once again in great weather! Thanks for all who was there and especially Kate for the amazing dinner! =)