It’s good to have friends.I have a friend. Let’s call her ‘Mac’. I have known Mac near on 20 years now.We met through a flatmate when we were 17/18 and have been tight like Tigers ever since.. She has no children, owns her own house, has a great job in the beauty industry and has travelled the world..She is a woman that works hard to get what she wants. No questions. Mac is always the first person I know be to doing the latest fad or owning the latest new gadget. A perfectly intelligent, beautiful, consumer. The kind of friend that will dry hump your Mums leg , because no one else would dear. The kind of friend that is the ultimate wingman . Recently whilst out and about with her I came to find myself chatting with a rather dashing musician. Dutifully she quietened down and proceeded to become one with the backdrop. As I chatted to the tattooed delight, I noticed her wriggling . CONSTANTLY. I gave her a look as if to ask her what on earth she was doing. She nodded at me reassuringly and motioned to get back to it. I went back to my hair tossing and coy giggles. She later informed me that whilst I unashamedly flirted with the tattooed delight, a rather large insect had flown into her eye. She was in all manners of pain trying desperately to remove the insect from her eye, fearing for her long term eyesight, whilst being sure not to disturb the flow between me and the aforementioned Tattooed Delight. Best wingman ever!!!! She is also, by far, THEEE. MOST. CLUMSY . PERSON. I . KNOW. If Mac has bought it. She has broken it. If she has found it. She has lost it.If she has needed it. She has forgotten it. If she can fall over it, she will.If there is an insect looking for an eye to fly into, it will find hers.
Mac came to visit me this weekend..One of my favourite NZ bands was playing in town and I was looking forward to going out with her and having a few drinks and a dance with her.No doubt to finish the night with all grace and glamour gone and be sitting in a corner with some new best friends,giggling like a couple of drunken Hyennas. It would be a good weekend indeed.
Mac arrived sporting a brand spanking new pair of Tramping Boots. Why on earth Mac owned tramping boots was beyond me.Firstly, they don’t have a 4 inch heel on them and secondly I am pretty sure there is no such thing as an I-boot. But there was no getting past it. Mac was wearing actual tramping boots. I just figured it was some new inappropriate city fashion. Like 4WD’s. What’s up with that?! With her, she carried a box. Full of vegetables.No Gin. No Wine. Just bloody vegetables. Botox was out. Detox was IN . And then she said it. Just before we were about to head out , she said . “Toots…I’m not drinking tonight,I choose not to because of my detox .I want to go for a walk tomorrow…I mean like an actual Hike. OK?! Like a full day one or something. So don’t go overboard tonight”. I could only come to the conclusion that the sudden lack of sugar, wheat and alcohol had done something horrific to her sense of reality. Mac and I didn’t ‘DO’ hiking. We ‘DO’ running and Les mills classes and yoga and bikes.We ‘DO’ walking to the local bar to drink Mojitos and talk about boys, make up and the current state of the global economy. But me and Mac hiking?! In actual bush?! Together at the same time?! Hells to the NO!!. Unfortunatley however, when Mac is set on doing something….there is NO talking her out of it. Quickly fantasies of spending the next day lying around in my lounge drinking lemonade and eating pies to refuel my alcohol batterd body whilst laughing about the previous nights drunken antics with rockstars , road cones and a hedgehog faded. It now seemed that tomorrow…I was going tramping.In the bush. In my trail running shoes. SPACK!
The next morning we got up. My head wasn’t feeling too bad. It had been a great night out. A few glasses of water and a couple of boiled eggs and soldiars, I was feeling fighting fit and ready to take on our ‘Hike’. After a little bit of investigasting I thought we might do one that takes us through some old gold mines in the Cobb Valley and to a cottage that had been built by a couple in 1914. . Easy peasy. I informed her that if we were going to do this , she needed to know that if things turned bad and we got lost in the wilderness, and she died,that I would indeed eat her for survival. I gave her permission to do the same. After a quick thought she agreed. I mean , what else are besties for? We made some snacks, packed some water and took the 1st aid kit. I did suggest we take my filleting knife “just in case” , she declined having every faith it wouldn’t come to that. Silly silly girl.
When we got there, the sign said it was an hour and a half each way.A total of 8km. Pffft. We would smash that out in an hour and a half .Total.. If that. Clearly they didn’t take into account that I do trail running. An elite athlete ,even.( in my own head anyway).With bag on and plenty of fuel we set off. Mac even talked of jogging. Quickly I set her straight and reminded her that I in fact had NOT been detoxing and the remnants of last nights spoils and this mornings eggs were still in my tummy. But alas she did not listen and set herself a jogging pace. After about 30 seconds of watching her toddle off I thought I would give it a whirl. So I followed. As it turns out I found the jogging yolk alright and settled in to an easy pace.Only slightly aware of the egg and wheat lager milkshake working it’s magic in my stomach. We jogged for a whole minute. Mac stopped. She was stuffed. And thirsty. And hungry.And she was concerned she might have sprained an eyelash .We stopped and had a drink and ate some detox friendly scroggin. The path was very much same same. I winged about the boring scenery and Mac winged about her back and the uphill. Every 50 meters or so she would stop to “look at the scenery” as she puffed and panted and winged about the constant uphillness of it all.
We kept on walking. And walking. And walking. And no bloody hut. Then we came to a narrow part in the path that had a sheer drop hundreds of meters down into the gorge below. I could hear the river roaring beneath us. A landslip had fallen onto the path making the walkway even narrower. I did not know how terrified of heights I was until this day. Mac went on ahead whilst I clung to a tree. Breathing. I considered telling Mac that the game was up and I was going back to the car. I looked at her on the other side with her new tramping boots, all red-faced and out of breath, her little puffy face all smiling at me expectantly. I could see she was sooo happy to be out here frolicking in her $400 boots with her best mate. So I took one for the team. I looked at the ground and just slowly proceeded to walk.Avoiding any eye contact with the certain death awaiting me to my left. I could feel the panic building up in me. My heart was pounding.My vision was dong strange things. I was terrified. So terrified in fact, I crouched down onto the ground and quietly wept. Right next to that sheer drop I sat and wept like a baby.I wept for my patheticness. I wept for all the orphans in the world. But most of all I wept for my friend Mac. For , certainly I was about to die by falling off the side of this cliff. And then what would she eat if she could not find her way back to the car park? AND I had her scroggin on my back. If I died like this…she would surely starve to death. Ohhh the injustice of it all!!!! Mac stood at the safe end of the track and gently encouraged me to get up and get to the other side whilst she took photos of me on her phone . Slowly I rose and step by step I made it to the other side. As soon as I felt safe I burst into tears whilst Mac comforted me and congratulated me for facing my fears and protecting her scroggin. I eventually gathered myself together and continued on.
The track started getting pretty gnarly. Clearly we had been sent on a detour due to landslips on the original track.Tree roots weaved through the ground like a nest of baby snakes. Grunting like a couple of well pampered Warthogs,we clambered and climbed.After what felt like a good hour and a half we still had not reached the hut. Around every corner our necks stretched out an extra half meter as we eagerly anticipated the view of a clearing and a rustic little hut with wild daisies all around it, a few frolicking unicorns and perhaps even Isaac, the bartender from the Love Boat would be there to greet us with margarita . Mac wondered aloud what kind of losers would be stupid enough to live this far away from a pub and grumbled something about a filleting knife. There was no hut around any of the corners. No beautiful black Isaac riding a unicorn laden with a champagne fountain .Just more of the same old. Slowly I became delusional. “I can feel it Mac. We’re close now. Sooo close. ” I could hear the Love Boat theme in the far distance. She started cussing her new shoes and complaining of blisters. It was pushing 3pm now. Not long until it started getting dark. Then out of the blue we saw it. As if a gift from the good lord above.Two blonde god like trampers came out of nowhere. BOTH wearing actual tramping boots.That had actually been tramped in. Both with large backpacks on . Filled with trampy stuff. Like warm waterproof clothes and dehydrated food and other such tramping yolk. They were talking to each other and weren’t even complaining about the tramping they were partaking in. Mac took control and asked the big question. “Ummm excuse me. Can you tell us how much further to the Hut is please?” Then everything changed. In her german accent the trampy girl tentatively said ” Vell,,,I guessss you are half vay. ” He, with his tramp ruffled hair added” Yah. I vould say you haff anudda hour to go” . At that very moment a little part of me died. I looked at his tanned blue-eyed face smiling back at me with all his fair-haired German yumminess and fantasized about punching him in his shiny white mouth. Did they really have to be so perky about me having to endure another hour of this nonsense, all for the sake of Mac’s new shoes!!!! I could sense Mac greedily eyeing up my hind quarters , wondering how many days survival she could get out of my well endowed butt.Tramping Gods wished us well and set off on their way. Following their little trail of breadcrumbs back to their trampy paradise.I HATED them!!
As we silently watched them skip off into the distance my heart sank. I knew it would it get dark soon and I knew I had to go back across the Death Drop. I looked at my friend and could see the same thing written all over her face. Neither one of us would want to be the one to say it. So I did. ” An hour! Fuck that!!! Let’s go back.”. “Done” replied Mac .So with little fuss we turned around , being sure not to move too fast so that we didn’t catch up with the German Tramping Gods and be exposed as the amateurs we are. We set a good pace. Started clambering back over the tree root system. The thought of having to go back over the Death Drop never too far from my mind. And then the inevitable happened. Mac slipped. Landed square on her butt . Hard. Now if I had my wits about me I would have pulled out my camera and taken photos of her whilst she howled in pain and laughed at her own clumsiness. But I was too anxious to get the Death Drop over and done with. I patiently waited as Mac got herself together . Then it was time. I gave Mac the backpack to carry. If me, her main food supply, was going to fall off the cliff, I could at least leave with her the 2 bags of scroggin. Though she might find issue with MY scroggin not being detox friendly. We approached the drop. My heart was pounding. I could feel a sweat coming on. I dared to look at the actual drop this time. It was then that I saw it. It wasn’t a sheer drop at all. It fell away quite gently actually. For some reason the angle from the other end looked awful and it wasn’t so bad after all. I practically skipped back over it. I felt elated to still be alive.
On we trucked. Mac determined to find somewhere to sit and have our picnic of apple and detox friendly scroggin. We found a waterfall about 10 minutes away from the car park and sat by it. We took photos of our shoes and started laughing at our pathetic attempt to be all outdoorsy. At my dramatic break down at the not so sheer drop.At Mac’s fall and her blisters. Mac suggested we get a photo of the Hut and Photoshop ourselves standing in front of it so no one know what failures we were. I quite liked her idea and asked if she could Photoshop out my extra chin too.
We noted that it was getting cold. I suggested that perhaps we would be more comfortable if we used the survival blanket I had in my First Aid kit. I pulled it out and wrapped it around us. Strangely that large piece of tin foil did comfort us. We paid tribute to the wonders of science and proceeded to eat our snack,quietly sniggering at the whole pallava. It was at this moment a couple came around the corner. They stopped. Still. Taking it all in. Two dishevelled looking woman, leaves in hair, looking absolutely knackered, sitting in the bush of the Cobb Valley with a survival blanket around them. A brief panic flickered in their eyes. ” Have you come far?” the man asked, very concerned. “Yeah”. ‘ I replied , realising how it must have looked. ” We have just walked all the way from the car park. Most exhausting 10 minutes of our lives!” At this point we lost it completley. The two of us falling into a fit of pants wetting, snort laughter. The walkers amused and satisfied we were indeed safe , pushed past us and left us to it on the side of the walkway , falling all over ourselves,in our survival blanket, with our detox friendly scroggin , drinking water out of plastic bottle, next to a waterfall, unable to communicate whilst we cried with laughter at our epic fail of an attempt to be at one with nature, for the sake of a new pair of shoes.
Yep. It’s good to have friends.