Participants: Alex Warnaar, Jeff Ducrot, Rachael Horner, Tania Seward, Richard White.
Date: 28-29th June 2014
Words and images: Tania Seward
Bushbashing (noun): the process of forcing a path through the bush
How to go bush bashing in the Kaikouras, in 13 easy steps:
- Pack your gaiters, your gloves, your confidence and your resolve. These things are necessary for bush-bashing in the Kaikouras.
- Don’t bother packing your self-esteem or your dignity. These things are not required.
- Find a bunch of people who also want to go bush-bashing. You may find that people who have been bush-bashing before do not wish to repeat the experience. In that case, you should encourage bush-bashing novices to come along. Tell them that bush-bashing builds character.
- Take out your swear jar, and put all of next week’s wages into it. This is payment in advance for the number of curses that will pass your lips as you take on the mighty bush.
- Find a location that lends itself to bush-bashing. There should not be any tracks in the immediate vicinity. The steeper the hill, the better. There should be an abundance of cutty grass, bush lawyer and impenetrable scrub. Bluffs are optional, but will add additional challenge.
- Gather your group at the base of your bush-bash. Tell them that the next three hours of their lives are designed to be character-building. If people look at the bush-covered hill in front of them and start to voice doubts, tell them that bush-bashing is good training for the School of Hard Knocks.
- Plunge head-first into the bush. Use tree branches and tree roots to haul yourself up. Develop Hulk-like arm muscles in the process. Stay within one metre of your friends at all times, otherwise you are liable to lose them in a sea of green.
- Three hours later, tell your friends that you can see the top, and you’ll be there in ten minutes.
- Ten minutes later, realise that what you thought was the top of the bush bash is actually not.
- Thirty minutes later, reach a high point covered in tussock. Sit on the high point for an hour until your muscles stop screaming. By this time, your friends might have stopped cursing you.
- Repeat process in reverse to get back to your original starting point. Gain an extra 10 points for falling over a bluff.
- Count number of scrapes, bruises, sore muscles, cuts and knocks. Compare with the people who used to be your friends, before you encouraged them to come bush bashing.
- Look up the meaning of “retrospective fun” in the dictionary. Laugh nervously when you see that the dictionary entry is accompanied by a picture of a massive bush-clad hill.