3 December 2007

Sanga's little walk...

Anyone who has been into the Kaweka range in the West of Hawkes Bay will know that it is quite steep, quite high, and quite hard walking. Luckily for me the team that I somehow conned (peer pressured) into walking in to Kiwi mouth hut didn't know this and so they happily tagged along for a three day mission. The catch in this particular trip was that we were walking in with kayaks on our backs.....

The boys at the put in....?

The trip was for the expedition paper at tech and as it turned out it was definately an expedition...

The first bit of drama/extremely funny incident was in the carpark at the start and went something like this;

Evan: Did you fullas bring slepping bags?

Everyone else: Yeah? why? did you not?

Evan: Nah I left mine in Christchurch, I just brought this sheet.

Everyone else: Incredulous silence followed by hysterical laughter, Are you serious???

Evan: Oh, its a winter sheet though.

This set the scene for Ev's trip, there was also another episode in the carpark which had us questioning his logic. "What are you fullas walking in?" asked Ev. "Oh just shoes and we strapped our ankles", was the reply, "Why what about you bro?" "Oh I've just got my brothers school Roman sandals eh"...Another incredulous silence. "What?" said Ev, "If the Romans can go to war in them, I can walk in in them".... More hysterical laughter. It was going to be an interesting trip...

The boys halfway up the first hill

The walk for the first day was about 6 km with a dirty hill at the start. I'm not 100 percent on this but I think that the 'I hate Sanga club' was formed somewhere between the photo above and the top of the hill. From the top of the devil hill we still had a couple of hours of undulating terrain (kaweka termionlogy for big hills) to cover and by the time we reached the Kiwi saddle hut at 9:30 that night, the club was in full swing with a treasurer, secretary, and club captain (Jamie). All in all we gained about 500 metres over 6km in four hours.

The little fella after having terrible cramps (potentially in relation to his hangover... Again.)

Evan dreaming about a sleeping bag

The view from Kiwi saddle hut

The hunters at the hut couldn't believe that we had carried kayaks up there and I think they may have thought we were slightly insane (quite possible). The morning dawned and after our porridge and leftovers it was back into it. Luckily we didnt have to shoulder the boats and we could drag them for the first half hour. We dropped down into Kiwi creek - literally, with the kayaks being lowered down some of the steep bits with throw bags and slings. From here it was a tedious float/drag of the kayaks down the creek to Kiwi mouth hut, but still better than carrying them. There was still quite a lot of darkness floating around but by this stage the boys knew there was only one way out - forwards. Kiwi mouth was reached with a collective sigh from everyone at about four in the afternoon and we proceeded to consume copious amounts of tea for the rest of the evening.

Dragging boats through the beech

rescue gear being put to good use

Butters controlling his boat telepathically in Kiwi creek

Relaxing at Kiwi mouth

The following morning after a terrible sleep (four bunks five people) we were up with high spirits because we knew there was no more walking involved. We put on the river and spent a bit of time getting used to loaded up boats (32kgs). Two hours later everyone was fairly sick of scraping down every single rapid and the 'I dislike Sanga intensly' club had reared its head again. In the end it took us about five hours to paddle out on the Ngaruroro which was very low. We were all very, very, happy to see the get out.

The trip turned out to be a massive adventure and I think I may have broken butters, the poor little chap. It was an interesting learning curve for carrying heavy boats which are not very comfortable. However we did have some hilarious moments which probably can't be put on here but they will come out in the grape vine I'm sure. As a trip goes it has probably never been done before and will never be done again (at least not by us!). From now on the coast will seem a lot easier!

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