The journey down the Whanganui river was a great adventure. Lynda has joined me for this 6 day (176 km) canoe trip, from Whakahoro to Whanganui city. We stayed in DOC huts most of the way, John Coull, Tieke Kainga (which is also a Marae), Downes Hut and then tented at other campsites down the river. We had a little bit of rain on the first and last days, but otherwise the weather was great. It was a magic experience, canoing quietly down the river through the gorges and fern covered cliffs. Although, I think the highlight had to be watching the RWC final at the "Bridge to Nowhere Lodge", way out in the middle of the bush, the only house on the river for miles, on sky TV, powered by a generator. The owner came and collected over 29 of us from the John Coull hut, in his jet boat, to avoid the danger of some of us attempting to canoe accross the river, after a few drinks. What a night. Go the AB's.
A canoe trip like this was a welcome break from carrying a backpack, first it is a great relief not carrying the wieght and then there is the added advantage that you can carry so much more food, and fresh food at that. Bacon and eggs for breakfast and steak for dinner. We also took a cask of wine, with cheese and crackers and lots of lovely dips. Lynda's brother Brian and his friend Pat also joined us for the first two days, so it was a bit of a family adventure. We had 4 large barrels strapped into our canoe and they were full. Every night we stopped, we had to lug these barrels up steep and slippery paths to the hut or campsites. Not sure how I'm going to adjust back to dehydrated rations again, as I head down the coast and back on the road again. Now over 1,300 km since I started in August and less than two weeks away from Wellington.