From the mountains, fiords and glaciers of Patagonia, my next trail building contract took me to the barren desert of Northern Mexico. In this totally unfamiliar environment I realised how much I took for granted back in New Zealand, and it dawned on me that maybe Fred Dagg was right when he sang "we don't know how lucky we are, mate."
We follow the road straight to the gaping mouth of the canyon then plough into the soft and slidey gravel of the valley floor. Soon boulders like giant, pale dice block our path. We leave the Kubota ticking in the shade and, taking our packs of water and snacks, continue on foot. We clamber over and around these massive, smooth, cool grey rocks, tyring to steer clear of the thorn bushes which snarl and scratch from the cracks. After about an hour we reach the base of the gorge, the sun high and harsh in a burnt blue sky, and we gulp back more water.
When I return home, I will definitely appreciate our green and tranquil little country that much more. But for now I think I will wander a bit further, open my eyes a little wider and see what more I can learn from this crazy, cruel but wonderful world. After all, I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface.