...went for a little walk.
There were literally hundreds of people on the Tongariro Crossing, and according to the guy at the hostel he's noticed a huge increase in the number of New Zealanders doing the walk in the last four to five years. I refrained from pointing out this might be because we had a Prime Minister who climbed mountains in her holidays, but surely there must be some kind of statistical relationship? ;-)
I was a little surprised to see a lot of women in their 40s, 50s and beyond on the trail, often in all female groups. Like me they seemed to be pushing themselves out of their comfort zones a bit and getting a real sense of achievement from doing so.
My mother has recently joined a group called Women's Outdoor Pursuits (WOPs), and so far she's done a training weekend full of bushcraft skills and abseiled for the first time ever. She's terrified of heights, but she did it. It would be really easy for her to not try new things without Dad around to support her, and I'm so proud of her for taking opportunities that arise, despite the grief that still afflicts us nearly a year on from his death.
Sadly she's encountered some sexism in this new venture; an old friend, who really is a lovely man, insisted that the training for WOPs must surely be run by men. When Mum responded that it was an all women group, and the trainers were thus also female, he claimed that they would certainly have been trained by men themselves. Because the laydeez might break a nail or something? It turned out that he knew the main trainer and took it all back, admitting that she was a very capable woman indeed. Nice to know there are some exceptions allowed.