Yesterday was our usual Parkinson Walk (or it was supposed to be). The day dawned wet but 9 of us turned up to do the walk we had decided on last week - the Ross Track up Parihaka which starts at the end of Dundas Road.
It starts off as a gentle walk until one reaches the "stairs"
I know I have taken a photo of this before but am unable to find it so this is one from "the net"
We walk in pairs where the track allows often changing as we go. Yesterday, I ended up walking with a lady in her mid to late 80's I will call her Anne. When we got to the top she had had enough and so I stayed with her while two others went back down and someone was to drive up to collect us. We were getting cold so I suggested we start walking down the road which was much easier than going back down the track.
We were then picked up and taken back to our starting point. Anne's water bottle and pills (essential for Parkinson sufferers) had ended up in someone elses pack. I had been giving her my water but she needed to take her pills
When we got back most were there except Doug and a gentleman in his early 80's lets call him Bill. I was told they were not far behind so I went back up the track to meet them. I got a bit worried as I headed further into the bush and up the stairs again then after another 5 minutes walking I came across them sitting on the side of the track. Bill's legs had given out and he kept falling so Doug sat him down in a sheltered place and called the ambulance (being assured that the ambulance was the correct thing).
Bill was carrying Anne's pills and water in his pack so I took them back down to her.
When I got there I discovered the ambulance had been and then left again as it requires the Fire Service to go into the bush to get anyone out.
I then went back up again to let Doug and Bill know what was happening. He was starting to get a bit cold. With our wet weather gear we had all been getting hot and steaming up and, once we cooled started to get cold.
Anyway, I was not there for long when three fireman arrived carrying a stretcher. They checked Bill out and there was no emergency so they put him onto the stretcher and. with Doug's help,carried him back out. As you can imagine it was quite a job getting him down the "stairs".
When we got back down another ambulance came to check Bill over and, as there was someone there to drive him home we left as Doug's daughter had driven up to have lunch with him.
The Parkinson walks have been going for two years now and this is the first "incident" we have had. I must say I was quite exhausted at this point having been up and down so many times.