Day 59

8.30pm Poukaria camp Whanganui River

Really really tired today. Already had couple hours kip. Not sure whether its the lack of sleep over last couple nights or the change to canoeing, we’ve done about 36km today from Taramanui to this site, it took us about 7 hours and boy can I feel it in my back and shoulders!

Its a totally different mode of travel where you are using new sets of muscles not yet accustomed to repetitive contraction and one where you are in one position all the time which becomes uncomfortable.

Chris has been brilliant and I have no desire to steer and guide from the back as he has done so well today. There were a few rapids which were a bit tricky but he knows what he is doing and I’m grateful for it.

It was all a bit chaotic this morning. Wed rushed around packing barrels, sorting storage and making breakfast ready for 7am but Mike from Wades didn’t show up till 7.45. We then went to Ofonga to sort out forms and lifejackets but they were in middle of moving out from their base at the pub to Grants, the owners, place (landlord had increased lease so they were pulling out that day). Phone had been cut so couldn’t pay, lifejackets were at Grant’s place and we had to go there but only after we helped load a great big bookcase onto back of Grant’s ute. Found couple jackets but no forms at Grants and agreed we’d pay after the trip. We then went round to Mikes to pick up his 4 year old son to take to Kindy and then we were finally on our way. To be fair we were on the water for 9am.

After paddling for couple hours I began to feel sleepy, wed got wet in some of the rapids but didn’t think much of it. At about two half hours we saw Lavender Garden cafe and moored up. I could hardly get out of the canoe. Felt stiff and tired and it was real effort to climb the steps up to cafe. Ridiculously so after tramping for all this time to feel my legs not working. Realised that I’d become really cold and my core temperature must have dropped. I was like a lizard who had not been able to get warm enough to move freely. Luckily it was much warmer up at the top and I began to bask in the sun again like a lizard in order to dry out and raise the body temp. Unlike this lizard, who i have never met, I was aided by a flat white and warm bacon and cheese scone and soon began to feel right again. The cafe was a lovely twee place with row a upon row of lavender around it. Got chatting to some older couples who waved us off when we got back on the river.

We stopped for lunch at the first campsite where I nodded off (maybe its also because we have so much food too and im feeling full for once).

All ready to go from Cherry Grove Taramanui

All ready to go from Cherry Grove Taramanui

Early days, this is a bit of alright, keep paddling Chris!

Early days, this is a bit of alright, keep paddling Chris!

Do I look like a lizard? Felt like one but now warmed up in sun at Lavender Cafe

Do I look like a lizard? Felt like one but now warmed up in sun at Lavender Cafe

Chris's "Santa beard" almost as big as mine after just a week!

Chris’s “Santa beard” almost as big as mine after just a week!

Enjoying hot dog at  Poukaria camp cooked by Chris's as I'd been sleeping for hours!

Enjoying hot dog at Poukaria camp cooked by Chris’s as I’d been sleeping for hours!

Chris demonstrating his J-stroke (i think?)

Chris demonstrating his J-stroke (i think?)

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