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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New Years Day Mission

To anyone who actually checks this blog (Jamie, Carsten, anyone else?), a happy new year! Yes, I survived junior camp and made it to 2011!

Having spent a wicked new years at Jamie and Penny's, including some geekish orienteering celebrations (ie. orienteering), some 10 year old fire works which barely made it above the 1m hedgeline and a good game of space chicken helmets, someone had the bright idea that we should conclude our celebrations with a 6hr mission in the akatarawas the next day. yay!

So come 11am, 8 of us were gathered at the end of moonshine valley, ready to take on some hills and rivers. Or not ready, but with little choice at that stage! Interestingly enough, it was those who didn't make it to town the night before who were there for the mission. Although Greg had the best intentions of making it to town but got lost somewhere on mt vic on the way.

Anyhow, the mission for the day was the Whakatikei river, which it turns out, has a wikipedia page. Not that you'll learn anything from it. However we started in same place as the NZ rogaining champs, which were held in the area last year, and a map can be found here. good luck following my description on it!

Pictured Right: Nowhere near the ridge that we were on, but thanks for the pic Jamie!

Off we started, pretty much straight into a rugged uphill on a 4wd track. After 10mins we'd had enough of that, so went off track and literally straight up the hill, eventually reappearing on the ridgeline, minus greg. He materialised out of the bush a couple of minutes later, to be serenaded by my "I see greg, I see greg, I see gre-eg!" (to tune of "I see red" for those in need of an explanation). He wasn't appreciative, well he was, but he hid it well.

We continued along said ridge for about an hour, passing a couple of hunters and a couple of dozen hunting dogs along the way. Which made me glad that I was wearing a relatively bright, non deer like top that day. One of the dogs mistook us for her pack and stayed with us for half an hour. Apparently we look and smell like dogs?! Maybe after another 3-4 hours, but hopefully not at that point! All of the dogs had fancy garmin's on their necks, which made me slightly jealous. Perhaps I could start a new fad with necklace garmins?

Pictured: Actually the whakatikei river, but not us.

Anyway, eventually we slipped and slid our way down to the Whakatikei River, and after 1.5 hours we entered the water. What ensued was 4.5hrs of wading, rockhopping and swimming down the river. Casper had some good fun with his new waterproof camera,trying it out on us and the few eels we encountered enroute. (I haven't got the photos off him, as apparent by the lack of them here)

Being the wimp that I am, I tried to avoid having to swim, mainly so I could keep relatively warm. However, after 4 hours in the river, the final gorge left no option but to brave the chance of large deep water eels and swim. I once again showed my swimming prowess, almost catching Casper up. This was, however, at the expense of any energy left in my muscles. Not to worry, the end was just around the corner, and with it a chance to collapse and warm up in the sun.

Pictured: "feed me!"

So all in all a good start to the year, got to love summer and the adventures that come with it! What missions has anyone else been on lately? Anyone?
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