|The Waimakariri Col
|Girding the Loins
Our greatest fear, a full hut, was realised but the occupants kindly gave us the hut mattresses and we slept blissfully outside on a mild night. About the hut the alpine flowers were magnificent. When we told the occupants about our record for slowness up the Rolleston they very kindly said that we were at least doing something in our old age, 76 (me),76 (Jim Wilson) and 78 (Mike White)!
|Waimak Col and Falls Hut
The descent to the White River was enjoyable but the slog down to Klondyke Corner from the White Junction took us six (more brews) instead of the three hours we could have done it in - in our youth. Somehow the next day turned into a rest day but the following day we gathered at Mt White bridge to start the kayaking.
|Flowers Were Everywhere
|Many Were the Brews
I soon found that my rudder didn't work because the stem was broken and the others found that their's were marginally useless. The trick is to read the water a bit further ahead. Anyway, after a few minor scrapes with bluffs and fairly vigorous eddies we emerged at the Waimak Gorge bridge very cold and shaky some 10 hours later - not quite C to C time. But then we stopped for lunch and afternoon tea. We slept well in our Macpac tent - despite the frequent elderly excursions into the night.
|Mike, Jim, Hannah (mascot) and BLS at the End
Over the next one and a half days we made out way down to Brooklands which we considered close enough to the sea - earlier ideas of kayaking out to sea and down to Sumner evaporated as we neared the coast. Warren and Hannah picked us up. At the start of the trip I'd been recovering from a bad cold and cough - the cough returned in full flight and I'm still getting over the after effects at the end of January.