Back to my adrenaline-filled adventures, this past weekend I traveled to Rotorua for the third time, to raft and kayak the Aniwhenua portion of the Rangitaikī river. And it was cool to finally hang out with the canoe club (which owns exactly 0 canoes, if you were wondering). I went down in the bus with a bunch of people, and that was definitely the way to go. I met a ton of people this trip, all the type that like to be outside as much as possible. It's definitely the kind of group that'll try to push you to try new things.
On Saturday, I got to raft again on some grade 4 and 5 rapids, and I was lucky enough to get in the baby boat, which held 4 people. It was much more of a workout, and much more intimate than the big rafts, for sure. We didn't flip, which was nice, because the river was super cold and I didn't have a wetsuit like most people.
That night, the whole group of us (~80 people) swarmed a local pub and things got a little weird. I didn't go too crazy, however, since I was going to be kayaking for the first time in whitewater the next morning. This is where I got to meet everyone else who wasn't on the bus. When I get back to RIT, I'm going to hit up the outing club as much as I can, because I think I've been missing out.
On Sunday, I finally got my chance to prove my rolling skills on the river. For those of you who don't already know what I'm talking about, rolling is how you upright yourself when your kayak flips upside down. However, I never got to roll, as I never flipped. I thought about doing a roll for fun at the end, but that would've required me to get really wet and really cold, and I was quite comfortable.
The river was magnificent. I loved taking on the rapids, one-on-one. I had a very long kayak, which meant the boat was easily bullied around by the rapids, but I hung on as well as I could. My guide, Tim, helped me with a bunch of useful skills for navigating the river. I was in a really small group, so I had a lot of time to pick up on a bunch of stuff. When I get home, I'm going to continue to pursue this. I really like the blend of the independent-ness of the kayak, and the group mentality of getting down the river together.
This weekend, I also discovered a hatred for sand flies. Their bite hurts 100x worse than a mosquito's, get's twice as big, and lasts for weeks. My legs and arms are completely raw. I would never wish these things on my worst enemy.
So, I'm traveling to the South Island for Semester Break on Friday, so there most likely won't be a post next week since I won't be anywhere near a computer. But expect the biggest, most insane post this blog has ever seen around the beginning of next month!
I don't have many pictures this week as I would be insane to bring the Canon with me this weekend, but I have a few shots from the club page and friends.
All of the kayaks lined up at the start of the day!
Our kayak fisherman, getting a few bites before setting off. Oh, and a waterfall
The steep climb down to the hydroelectric plant
Me dropping 3 meters into the water!
I don't have one of myself, so here's Mikhael tearing it up
Everyone carefully paying attention to kayak saftey
Our mascot, Nadi!
Tony, Amaury, and I thumbs-upping after two successful days on the river