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Winter Trip Report


Winter trip this year proved to be as exciting as we beginners imagined it. There was not as much carnage on the river as on River Frolickin’ trip,but quite a lot on Saturday night in the dryness and warmness of the lodge.

After a quite fast driving (less than 3 hrs) Campbell, Phil and I arrived in the infamous All Season Holiday Park pretty early (not even 8pm), expecting to be the first to arrive we were quite surprise to meet (American) Sarah and Josh already there. Quite shortly after our arrival came James, then Luc, Jaret (his flatmate) and Johnny, latter on Magnus and Martin, and then Speedy and Moe, and eventually Ross.

The girl/boy ratio was pretty low but I guess Sarah did suffer too much, did you?

It was quite a calm evening for everybody but Campbell who fought a bunch of Barbarians with his broad silver sword in a successful attempt to break down a piece of furniture (?!)

In the morning (well, I mean after breakfast) we drove off to Anawhenua to find it quite high, but not as high as last time, but still. The weather was as fine as could be and the little group was quite merry. Experimented paddlers decided to run the top section (about which I don’t know anything) and Moe offered us a nice performance on the fall. Sweet as.

Then we all went down and nobody swam at the get in! I thing everybody was really sweet and enjoyed a fairly dry run expect from Magnus which didn’t really appreciate his first run in his new boat. Sarah, remembering her 5 swims and two rafted bits of last time, expected to get quite cold but she ended up completely dry! As for me and Ross we experienced our first useful river roll!!! Thank you all for having spent so much time teaching us, we both got one (hopefully the start of more confident and exciting runs)!

Then the instructors went back to the top section while we beginners enjoyed the warm water of secret spot, which isn’t so warm these times, only 37 degrees according to Moe’s watch, but still a nice place to stay and start drinking.

After a stop at new World for food and drinks almost every one started to cook some really fancy food, trust me there was some competition in the kitchen!

After a nice meal the drinking competition started and many drinking games came in, with a touch of Lucks dodgyness every one was dressed up and let’s get the party started!

Campbell proved real abilities in stunt and acting, and you should see Johnny with a pink wig!

Upstairs James, Ben, Martin and Fillip were drinking/watching the game (not soccer this time) and right after the game some boring guy virtually kicked us from the lodge so we all ended up upstairs. Here (and a bit before that) I don’t have full memories of what happened, hopefully someone else has things to tell, but the following morning I woke up with the vague idea I’ve been fighting for a sock, juggling with empty bottles and I had (and still have) a few bruises and a black eye in the morning. It’s actually quite purple right now and I have fun explaining things to my colleagues…

Well on Sunday morning the state of the lodge was a testimony on how hard we’ve been partying the previous night and it took us a while to clean the mess, overcome the hangovers, pack and leave the place.

We then drove to Kaituna where most of the beginners decided it was too much pain to get changed for the short grade 2 so only Martin and Jaret had a go and did quite well according to what I’ve heard. So the rest of the beginners walked along the run and watched some nice performances from our fellow instructors (the first time for Johnny on Kaituna, and he was really sweet despite his strong hangover) on the various rapids and falls.

After that some instructor’s appetite of white water was still unfilled and they pushed it further to the gorges. Then we had a quite drive (as far as I know) back to Auckland with the odd stop to Matamata and/or the gear shed.

Another good trip with a small group, where was all the rest of you?! 

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