Half way through the year we got this great idea to apply for a grant from the CPSA (Christchurch Polytech Students Association) to go and explore more of the areas that the South Island has to offer for kayakers on an intermediate level. The trip that we had planned to do was down to Queenstown in July... whose idea was that?! We had to postpone the trip to later on in the year because of the difficulties of travel both on roads and river due to snow and ice! We ended up having to keep shifting it further and further back because of study and eventually we ran out of time leaving us with half of the original group.
Even this trip that ended up shrinking from 10 days to 2 and moved from Queenstown to Hokitika which was still a mission to plan. Because of weather, money, etc our plans changed every day dramatically. We went from plans to fly to the reality of walking because of the trusty West Coast rain. Luckily we had an excess of water, we are all so tough, and we are all well conditioned athletes (yeah right!) this didn't really bother us.
We got on the Styx on Monday, waited around on Tuesday for the weather to make a plan to fly, walk, or drive, before finally organising the chopper, arriving at the river (which at this stage is big and brown), and then having to send Dando home (which he was really good about), and finally walking in through the mud and rain to the put in. This is what the West Coast is all about!
Angus on the Styx - image Chee Joe
Gus battling the mud of the Toaroha - image Soph Mulder
still walking - image Soph Mulder
Gus avoiding Jake being worked - image Soph Mulder
Camping at Mahinapua!- Jamie Garrod