Before we left Jenna and Duncan’s place, Duncan was kind enough to take kel and I up into Skipper Canyon, a really intense 4x4 trail. At the top of the trail was the put in for the river that he had also agreed to take me down in a kayak. Kel and Jenna drove the car back out, and Duncan, his friend Rob, and I went down in the little boats. Although I really like canoeing, and feel very comfortable in the water, I was wholly unprepared for what hit me. The river was around a class 3, which for those who are competent kayakers is a fun river, with challenging spots and some good places to play around. for me, who cannot unflip the boat, and had never been in a kayak in rapids, it was a very cold and wet 2 hours, that flopped between pure joy and utter terror. I ended up flipping 6 times, 3 times I was able to grab onto a boat and right myself, and the other 3 I ended up getting sucked out of the boat and into the ice cold water. This meant I spent about two minutes getting swept down the rapid and slamming into rocks until I made it to the side, and also so that Duncan could pick up my boat. I even managed to hit the biggest “hole” on the river. I was timidly skirting the side and all of a sudden I heard “go left, go left!!”. I froze, went straight, and fell over a big rapid. I thought I was in the clear, but the look on Rob’s face told me otherwise, and sure enough I started moving backwards until I was under the rapid, and soon after under the river. Anyway, a good way to spend the morning, and a good introduction to whitewater.
Next stop, Mount Cook (then maybe some work on the Hobbit) then back down to the west coast. It seem we are constantly finding things to do on the way, so I am sure there will be lots of other stuff in there. Keep emailing us, we love hearing from everybody, even if it takes us some time to get back. To the Mountains!!!!
(Camping over the Tasman Glacier. What a Beaut!)