Te Araroa – Day 56

John Coull Campsite to Ngaporo Campsite – 40km (1262km total)

With a shorter day today, we decided to have a slightly later start at 8am, which meant a leisurely breakfast. Today, I went into the canoe with S, who bravely was happy for me to be in the power seat in the back of the canoe! This was either brave or foolishness on his behalf. The good news is that it all went fine. I negotiated the rapids like a pro, or at least better than yesterday. Although having said that on the second rapid of the day, there was a whole group of Maori on the other bank and I managed to turn the canoe into the opposite bank and we had to back paddle, while all the Maori stood and cheered for us. So kind!

John Coull Campsite

We stopped in the middle of the day to take a 40 minute walk to the Bridge to Nowhere. It was a bridge built by early settlers when they had hoped to inhabit the area. However, for various reasons the area was impossible to settle and the area abandoned, now a bridge still remain that leads to nowhere.

Bridge to Nowhere, a good chance to use our legs again

The afternoon dragged after lunch. As we slowly make our way towards the ocean there are less rapids and therefore less current, which means that paddling is slower. To make the time pass I explained the ridiculous amount of Prime Minsters that Australia has had in the last 10 years and S attempted to explain to me the French Revolution.

As we kept paddling thinking we would never get to the campsite. We hit a few more rapid to speed things up. A and Y went first and as S and I were coming through we saw A and Y’s canoe full of water and starting to sink and them bail out. Apparently as they hit the rapid, water came into the canoe, then they hit is sideways and rather than rolling water just filled in the side of the canoe 🛶. Y who was in the front didn’t realise just how much water was in the canoe and kept paddling while telling A to just bail the water out. However, he soon realised the extent of the water and they both jumped out before the canoe went under completely. As they swam with the canoe. S and I came through the rapid and helped them pull it to shore. Where the flipped the canoe to drain the water and put everything back in before setting of again. As we set of we went through one small rapid, rounded the corner less then 100m from where we had reloaded the canoe and came upon the campsite. We all laughed at how close we had been without realizing it and we could have walked to the campsite from where we were docked to flip the canoe.

Today I am thankful for fun memories.

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