Day 70 Rain, rain go away
Wednesday 18 December
7.30am We are waiting around the hut table for the hut warden to give us a briefing on whether we are going anywhere today. It rained all night and is still raining. The warden got up twice in the night to drag all the canoes higher up the bank. That is service!!
The river is about 2.5m above the already high level it was when we got here yesterday. It is a wait and see game. I wish I had taken a photo yesterday afternoon on arrival to show the difference in the level. That said it was pouring with rain, and I was resembling a drowned rat so I have my excuses.
8.30am We are not going anywhere. The main issue is a river about 45 minutes downstream is feeding large logs into the Whanganui River. Best not try to take those on. My last battle with a tree didn't come out in my favour. The good news is the rain has eased.
10am. Yay the rain has stopped. Baxter and I had a walk down to the river to look at the height of it. We were going stir crazy already. It is impressive. There are a number of waterfalls on the cliffs on the other side of the river. One is primarily a steady stream of mud which wasn't there yesterday. Another that is in a crevice is thundering down sending water in all directions. We then played cards and Baxter showed me some magic tricks. He is a really great kid and it is so impressive that he is doing this. All credit to him. I don't know many 14 year old boys who would.
The hut warden has said he will get an update around lunch as we might be able to depart early afternoon. Fingers crossed.
2pm No go. The river is still rising and now we can see large logs floating by. We have moved the canoes even further up the bank. So it is an imposed rest day, playing cards with Baxter, reading very old magazines that are in the hut, and chatting with others. The poor unfortunate soles who were in tents last night in the torrential rain will be in the hut tonight. I anticipate limited sleep.
The forecast for tomorrow is good, but for Friday shocking again. I hope we can finish the trip and get to Whanganui by canoe before 24 December!!! I don't fancy coming back to do it over so I can keep with the aim of completing every single km under my own steam.
7.30pm Being in a crowded hut all day, doing nothing but waiting is frustrating. I am trying to take a chill pill and I would possibly be a little less het up if Friday wasn't looking so bad as well. Being dependent on other's different wishes and needs is the icing on the cake - not in a good way. The canoe to the next campsite is 5 hours on a normal river so tomorrow is likely to only take three. That is if we don't take the side trip (a 2 hour walk) to the bridge to nowhere. Most of the group don't want to do the side trip. I would prefer to but it's not a major for me. I do however want to push on to the next campsite while we have good weather and we can make up a day. I see no point sitting in a hut for the most part of a rare sunny day, and then sitting in the same hut all the next day as we have to wait out the rain again. Others see it differently.
The other option being considered is exiting the river at Pipiriki, then either walking (all tarsealed road ),the 62km to Whanganui or getting a shuttle. The latter is not an option for me, and the former would be a bitter disappointment as I was so looking forward to this river trip and an extra 62km of road walking would be a hard pill to swallow.