Taumarunui (Cherry Grove) to Poukaria Campsite – 35km
Today began the canoeing section of the TA. We were doing it slightly different to other TA walkers. Most choose to walk another two day after the Tongariro Crossing to Whakahoro on the Whanganui River and then canoe into Whanganui. We however, came back to Taumarunui which we walked out of 4 days before to start canoeing from there. This gives us longer on the river and cuts out 2 days of walking. This seemed like a no brainer, given the canoeing company gives TA hikers a flat rate no matter how many days then spend on the river and have the canoes for. It also meant we got a night back in town to resupply and shower before heading to the river.
It was a pretty uneventful day of paddling down the river. There were lots of little rapids to go through. A few caused me who was sitting in the front to get soaked as the white water spawned up as we went through, but otherwise they were pretty tame.
There was a lavender farm and cafe half way down the river, which we stop at for a chai and coffee, just before lunch. Then it was more floating down the river and negotiating rapids before arriving at the campsite for the night.
One of the most exciting things about canoeing, is not having to carry anything. So, I went crazy on food. I have a barrel full of fresh food. Fruit and vegetables, all things that are usually to heavy to carry or impractical in backpacks, but I’ve got them all. Dinner tonight was nachos. Corn chips, bean mix, cheese, avocado and tomatoes. So good.
Today I am thankful for barrels of food that don’t have to be carried.