|Riding up the Esk Valley
|Cattle Creek Hut
|Boiling the Billy at Cattle Creek
The following day dawned fine with the prospect of a great day. We wound up the remains of Cattle Creek to the Ashley Head Saddle on the Puketeraki Range - to traverse northwards through shingle and tussock and up over Black Rock for a couple of hours before descending steeply towards the Mt Whitnow Station. It was one of the highlights of the trip, striding atop horses along the top of the "Pukety" Range for a couple of hours - like princes (yes ladies, honorary Princes).
|Climbing up the Puketeraki Range
|Descending the "Pukety" Range to Mt Whitnow Station
|Lawrie's Sidekick, Corrina and her Horse
Our last night out was at Mt Whitnow and next morning we rode north towards the Hurunui River, down its true right banks to Waitohi Downs, Lawrie's Base and farm.
|Ginga Greets the Hurunui River - Nearly Home
At the farm we cleaned up and hosed the horses down - "home and hosed" - their mates came down from adjacent paddocks and they all greeted one another over the fence. After a fine (what else from Jenny) meal and a good rest we left for Christchurch and our respective homes. The journey had been a challenging one but the back country splendour, horses, company and friendships (we were a happy group) made it all worthwhile. If, as Lawrie would put it, you are a "tough bastard" I'd recommend the Tekapo Main Divide Expedition thoroughly. Go to Alpine Horse Safaris to find out more including shorter treks in North Canterbury where you don't have to be quite so tough - nor a bastard.