Mountain climbing

I went to the Food Show yesterday. It was rubbish and I did not get my money’s worth in entertainment value for the $18 entrance fee. There were only two things that stood out.

A company that sold chopped onions in plastic bags displayed their goods on a dinner table, set up with cutlery, plates, glasses. Yet, in a surreal twist, upon each plate was a bag of the chopped onions. I imagined some parallel-universe dinner party, where people sit down and enjoy a bag of onions (and if they’re lucky, there will be a fat-free, sugar-free bag of onions for dessert).

The Guinness stand has giving little-cup samples. It seemed to attracted all the old codgers (and me, ok, shut up). One old codger asked if he could buy a pint, but the barmaid said they weren’t allowed to sell it, but snuck him a bottle. She was also attempting to pimp Guinness as a “dessert beer”, complete with handing out little chocolate squares so that we might see how well Guinness goes with it. Unsurprisingly, all the old codgers (and me) rejected the chocolate.

After the Food Show, I headed into Newmarket, but went via Market Road instead of Manukau Road. I realised that right along side me was Mount St John, and I’d never been up there before.

I found an entrance off Mt St John Ave and headed up the steep path that went straight up the side of the hill for much of the journey. Having made it to the summit, I located what appeared to be the only park bench up there and concluded that Mt St John is much like its neighbour Mt Eden in that:

  • it has a big ol’ crater, but with a swampy puddle of water at the bottom and a couple of big trees growing in it.
  • there are the holes in the ground from old kumara pits, but without damage from mountain bikers or the need for signs and barriers to prevent subsequent damage.
  • there is a footpath up to the summit, but no road full of tour buses.
  • the old terraces from Maori fortifications are still visible, but there aren’t any tourists posing on them.
  • at the summit there is a path going around the crater, but there isn’t a car park with tour buses and cars fighting for parking spaces.

Yeah, Mt St John has much in common with Mt Eden.

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