Te Araroa Trail – Day 51

Sunday, December 24, 2023
Distance/ Total: 19.8 km / 12.3 mi paddling

Today is a late start day due to the tides and everyone slept in a little later today. We were still all up before 7:00 am and sat around the shelter in the morning. It started to sprinkle a couple of times and I took down my tent during one of the lulls in the rain. The wind was blowing pretty good so the tent was still pretty dry.

About 10:00am we started carrying our gear down to the canoes and the water was about 4’ deeper than yesterday afternoon. We loaded the canoes and shoved off.

We were hoping for a nice flow downstream this morning, but that was not the case. The water was very still with hardly any movement. In addition there was a nice headwind blowing upstream causing us problems keeping the canoe straight. At times it felt like we were paddling and going nowhere.

As we got nearer to the mouth of the river the banks began to get very steep and tall making it impossible to stop on the shore to rest. We paddled on reaching the Whanganui Holiday Park about 2:00 pm.

It started sprinkling again as we unloaded our gear and turned to a full rain just as we finished. I had a bunkroom reserved and Andi, Jaroslav, and myself retreated to the comfort of our room to finish unpacking our gear.

We were all hot and sweaty from the paddle and were glad to get showered and wash the sweat off ourselves. We spent the afternoon visiting with other canoeists sharing our adventures, and mis-adventures, with each other.

As dinner time approached 4 of us headed to a restaurant about 4km down the road for dinner. It was about a 45 minute walk, but the food was well worth it. We returned just as it was getting dark and turned in for the night.

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