Things I learned from our last mission:
1 - Mothers are bad for you. Not the people. The energy drinks. I already knew this but time had blurred the memories of what happens when you drink three of them in three hours.
2 - Take a topo map. Then your walk in will only take the specified 2-3 hours instead of five and a half.
3 - The east coast is the business. When the next cyclone comes, go there.
In the midst of a post race day hangover, with no motivation to do anything except sleep, I found myself being turned back five minutes up the Taupo road because it was "snowed under mate!" Getting back home I found the Taihape and Waikaremoana roads were also closed because of a freakish spring storm and the road south was shut because some nutter was running around with a gun.
This left the interesting situation of being essentially stranded at home. Not too much of a problem when you have a fire to sit next to and a deep pantry but it was a slight issue because we were supposed to be doing the motu the next day... (turned out it was ish high - 1200 cu at the bottom...) Anyway after much frantic communication with the other half of the team (DnB Bayly - in Ohope), "Where's the rain!?, What are the Kaimai's doing?, shall we hit the Mangawhio?", we remembered a sneaky little third option - "bro the Ruakituri is going straight up".
So with the entire east coast getting hammered we made a plan to meet at an obscure tiny little place called Te Reinga which boasts an impressive five houses, six horses and a big beast of a waterfall. With the Ruakituri looking a little high (like Africa big) we decided to do little creek just south of Te Reinga which the Matt Danes had sent me some info on the day before. It started off super promising with lots of cool hydroslide action and a couple of big drops which needed more water. But then it suffered from some dodgy strainers and went a bit flat. But all was not lost, after the creek joined the Ruakituri we had the sickest surf session in our creek boats all the way to the takeout!
Then the next part of the plan emerged. A quick Korero (discussion, for those of you not bilingual like me), and we decided to stay somewhere in the vicinity of Wairoa and have another look at the Ruakituri the next day. A few quick phone calls and we were en route to Colin and Marg Baynes' house for the night. Some awesome hospitality from them saw us reluctant to leave the next day but we had places to walk and shit to run.
The upper upper Ruaktiuri was pioneered by Ben, Zac and Elby last year and had sparked a lot of interest since then due to one particular photo of a multi tiered slide which looked amazing. So ten thirty on Wednesday found us in about the most remote area of the country looking at a rather large hill which we had to wander over (rose tinted sunnies anyone?). We were guessing the walk would take about 2-3 hours and hopefully wouldn't be too bad. Little did we know...
Five and a half hours later we stood at the side of the put in slide (yes it was the multi tiered one) having been stuck in mud, lost, bush bashed, lost again and stung by nettles. All thoughts of our walk were immediately forgotten as we prepared to put on and run some Papa goodness.
What followed was two hours of choiceness.
I've been waiting to use a new word I made up for a while now so prepare for a rant. If the plural of hoof is hooves and the verb of groove is grooving... Guess where I'm going with this. Thats right, I feel it's time we expanded our vocabulary as kayakers so the plural of boof must be booves and the verb must be booving???
Anyway, thats what we did down the Ruakituri - got our boove on - Slides, big water rapids, west coast boulder gardens and clean drops made for one of the most unique rivers I've seen. And the best part - portages = 0
Check it. Note - we didn't video most of the best rapids because, well, we were just having to much fun. And true to form, it was getting dark. Same old.
After this is was an all out rush back to vegas over three hours of winding, gravel, horse infested road - hence the 1.5 litres of energy drink. We arrived home at two in the morning just in time for Daryl to drive to Hamilton and start work at four. He's a committed man.
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