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The Wanganui River Canoeing Adventure

Well we are safely home after an amazing trip down the Wanganui River. 🙂 But the first big thrill was Chris’s bungy jump at Taupo. (His 50th birthday present from his children) Why live on the edge when you can jump off??? Had to show you this photo. 🙂

Oh boy! What a jump. And the bounce back is almost as high! There was a girl there in a wedding dress – obviously her hen party – she looked like she was going to throw up with fear. When I asked Chris if he had any fear, he said, “Not really, just a touch of terror.’ 🙂 But he just launched off cool as you like….

And survived. 🙂

Then on to Ohakune. Was great to see the snow on Mount Ruapehu and also the smoke coming out from the latest eruption. Our motel at Canoe Safaris was lovely – we had the lodge to ourselves.  Everyone was very excited. Packed all our gear into water tight barrels – we had 13! Headed back up to Taumaranui on a bus to where we launch our canoes. I hadn’t realised there would be lots of rapids. When we tried out our canoes, Chris soon decided I was a useless steerer and took over at the back of the canoe. He  then promptly spun the canoe around so that we entered our first rapid backwards. “Stay calm,” he  told me (or himself) 🙂 So much fun.

The river is amazingly beautiful – so much to look at as you paddle down the gorge. Everyone was feeling pretty tired after five hours – felt muscles we haven’t noticed before. After two more hours  everyone was desperate to get there. But ‘there’ was 100 metres up a side river. Gosh that seemed like a long way against the current. And then we discovered we had to carry all our gear up some pretty steep tracks and then 1/2 km up a road carrying all our barrels. Gasp. Made several trips. At least the older people did while the young ones collapsed. 🙂

We stayed in an old schoolhouse that’s been converted into a bunk house. Very quaint.  Dinner never tasted so good. Butter chicken and rice. Chocolate. Ibuprofen and panadol was dished out to those with aching and burning muscles. Then bed!!! Bliss. Must confess  I did wonder that night how on earth I’d manage another seven hours paddling, (and I wasn’t the only one thinking that) but I felt great the next morning and ready for action. Started early (8am) and had a glorious day – just cruised and stopped for lots of swims and ‘elevensies’. (snacks)

Covered  another 34 kms  but we all felt much better that day. Some great rapids!!

The next day was Indian day! Put on our costumes and war paint. 🙂

Some long slow patches along the river but we sped things up by playing canoe tiggy. Exhausting but fun. Cooled off with some lovely swims whenever we wanted to.

And had skipping stones competitions at every break.

Our last day was a great finish! Set off at 9am and took our time. The highlight of the day was a swim in the cold water pool beneath a waterfall in a cave. Wonderful! Then another highlight – the biggest, wildest rapid! 4 out of 7 of our canoes capsized one after the other!! (not mine and Joe’s I might add) We pulled the canoes up on the stony beach and then went back and swam the rapids. Cool fun. We had incredible weather the whole way – hardly used a towel – just swam and then dried off in the canoes. Had fun jumping off the cliffs and walking 40 mins in the bush to the Bridge to Nowhere – All in all a wonderful family adventure! 123 kms done and dusted.

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