The boys at the put in....?
Evan: Did you fullas bring slepping bags?
Evan: Nah I left mine in Christchurch, I just brought this sheet.
Everyone else: Incredulous silence followed by hysterical laughter, Are you serious???
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!