By Sophie , 08 March 2019
The shenanigans of this trip started once we’d pumped our tubes up at Caltex Rimataka at around 9:30am on Saturday March. We had two cars, seven people and suddenly six very large tubes. After some rearranging, reshuffling and resizing of tubes to fit ourselves and belongings back into the cars, off we drove with only one tube tied to the exterior. The roof-riding tube on Florian’s car made a deep, almost regular thumping sound, not unlike a pumping base as it flapped to a beat and we hummed Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’. The first time it missed a beat we were terrified that we might see it bouncing off the wind shield of the car behind us but then the thumping continued and so we hummed on.
We then arrived at our tubing location in the Hutt River gorge near Te Marua Lakes and unloaded the tubes and ourselves. We put on wet suits, packed dry bags and after a few queries from puffer jacket wearing picnickers, we headed on over to the river and ‘plop’ in we went.
Our time in the river was spent doing three different things. For most of it we were cruising down in slow motion, wishing the flow was a bit faster but the activity was so pleasant that we hardly complained about our lack of cumecs. A bit of the time was spent on the bank as we star jumped, revived childhood Jump Jam routines to stay warm and ate a lot of chocolate. Some time was also spent trying to bounce our way off rocks that just couldn’t seem to let us go. The best parts though, (except for the chocolate and Jump Jam maybe) were the rapids. They swept us down through the white water and spat us out into calm deep green pools taking us from a state of maximum relaxation into a state of sheer panic and back again in a matter of seconds.
After the first emergency exit the decision was unanimous that we would continue on our journey down the river but by the second exit it was decided that we had shivered enough and there was no way that we would get to our planned exit point where Cecile was moving the cars to in a reasonable amount of time given the flow of the river. So after two and a half hours in the river we headed for the bank, dried off and had lots more chocolate. We then climbed up and out of the gorge and got in touch with Cecile just as she had finished moving the cars and was about to begin her much anticipated nap.
We left feeling warm and well chocolated. Some funny and exciting moments had been had on the river, even if we did only float a couple of kilometres. Thanks to Kieran for making this happen we are truly sorry Cecile for robbing you of your nap.