Wednesday, January 9, 2008

2008 Happy New Year

We brought in 2008 with Tim and Mel in Pauanui. Pauanui certainly put on a fantastic fireworks display. We took the opportunity of having a base for a few days and hit the local beaches. Pauanui itself has stunning white beaches with awesome surf…which we took our kayaks out on.

The Hot Water beach is a strange beach which has thermal springs in the sand. You dig a hole at low tide it fills with hot water and in you pop for a relaxing hot spring…

One of the most stunning beaches with views is Cathedral Cove the pictures say it all..

Then we began another 5 day kayak adventure with Tim and Rob. We began with a warm up on the Kaituna. We surprised Rob with the falls after not allowing him to scout. His face was a picture as he dropped the fall into the frothy pool below..

Southbound and We paddled the Tongariro 3 sections in two days with a Onipango / Waihohonu thrown in the middle. The Tongariro was great easing in difficulty as the sections went on. One section has 75 named drops. Another included the Gates of Hercules a deep flat water gorge. (But also one of the most steepest horrendous carry outs…we wondered why locals only paddled it once in a life time - it also involves a long carry in)

Day 4 and we were ready to step it up a notch on the Rangitikei..A class IV / V committing gorge. By the time the put in came we had one chicken out and the rest of us put on…nerves on edge. It turned out to be one of the best paddles we have had in NZ despite the low levels it provide good low volume class IV steep creeking drop after drop.

Our final and last day paddling with Tim and Rob, and our last river for New Zealand. We hit the Kaituna again…except this time we continued into the Awesome gorge. It can only be described as no eddy, fast, furious, extremely narrow, blind, twisty gorge that just finished our paddling on a high.

A quick stop off for Dinner and we found we were in a little place called Hobbiton including a life size Gollum.

Now..we head to Auckland in high hopes that we will sell Homer before we leave for Chile..on Tuesday.

Thanks to Tim and Rob for paddling with us again (even if Rob did throw the dummy out). Thanks to Mel for letting us unload ourselves at her house.

New Pictures of our North Island Adventures are available on Webshot…Use the Our Pictures link.

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