Auckland has had its fair share of wet weather lately, so this weekend we decided to premeditate a case of cabin fever and headed out to Auckland’s West Coast for a family tramp. Things started well. The bush looked gorgeous after heavy rain and the waterfalls were particularly majestic at full capacity. Our wet weather gear and sensible tramping boots meant we were prepared for whatever conditions came our way. To begin with the kids loved the freedom of the track and ran on ahead of us spotting spiders, birds’ nests and Bear Grylls-worthy caves just in case we had to spend the night in the wild.
Then things started getting trickier. We had to turn back from one track because it required a short river crossing that would have been a hop, skip and a jump in summer, but spring rain had turned it into a torrent. Our second choice of path was a little more challenging and suddenly it became clear the small people didn’t seem to be having so much fun anymore. We started hearing, “Can we go back now?” and, “I don’t like it here”. Then the piece de resistance – “This is the worst walk ever”.
It was very tempting to respond in sergeant major fashion with, “You kids don’t know how lucky you are to be on this lovely walk” or, “For once we are going to do something mum and dad enjoy – it’s not just about you two you know!” But then an epiphany struck. It was almost midday and there had been no snacks since breakfast, yet they had been on the go for a couple of hours. They were starving. Several crackers, a few hunks of cheese and some squares of chocolate later, our little adventurers were back on track – literally. Sometimes what seems like tricky behaviour can be fixed in the simplest of ways. Never underestimate the power of snacks.