Helen and Randall on the road

A bit about our adventures 2011-2012

Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th November: River Valley Lodge to Lodge

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The lodge to lodge trip is a scenic (ie no white water) two day rafting trip downriver from River Valley, stopping off for the night at Tarata Fishing Lodge. We were guided by Anupam, old friend from when I was 18 in India with Charlie:

The boss!

Hiking to the Waterfall

Under the waterfall:

Randall goes all the way!

Hello Charlie!!

After some more picturesque drifting with Anupam doing all the work (I think we paddled fewer than 30 strokes all day!) it was lunch time. Obviously we were expecting a brown bag lunch, so this was all a pleasant surprise:

Randall is the little dot in the middle!

Then we had a bit more scenic drifting with the odd bit of paddling (and one moment where Anupam had to get out and push):

before arriving at Tarata’s beach, where the handy four-wheel-drive mini-jeep was waiting for us to hop into and drive up the hill:

where we arrived at the glorious Tarata Fishing Lodge and checked in to the ‘River Retreat’, a two bedroom cabin with hot tub and veranda overlooking the river:

There’s the raft, just pulled up out of the water!

Oooh the fabulous hot tub (and the chilled bottle of Sauv Blanc left in the fridge for us)

The ensuite corner bath, from the verandah and from inside. Huge sleigh bed with not one but two sets of dressing gowns, one for getting wet after climbing out of the hot tub and one for lounging around doing leopard impressions in:

or indeed random Star Wars impressions:

Apparently my light sabre noises are rubbish.

Randall and Mr Perkins the daschund puppy.

After dinner in the homestead, a fantastic night’s sleep in the river retreat, and breakfast in the homestead again (made by the fabulous Trudi), Steve took us around the lodge grounds, with a visit to the ‘Treehouse’, a four bedroom mini-lodge, and a demo of his home-designed ‘possum plucker’ for taking the fur off the possums he kills – possum trapping being one of the many strings to his bow. (Eel-catching, river management, fishing trips and ‘bullshitting to tourists’ being some of the others!). Possums are a pest in NZ and it is practically a civic duty to kill them (unlike in Australia – from whence they were introduced…thanks Aus!…where they are protected). The market for the fur is relatively recent though and supplied entirely from possums that would have been killed anyway – they are not farmed or cultivated. The fur is super warm and mixed with the local merino wool for socks, hats, scarves etc, but I am saving up for a possum-skin blanket. Mmmmmmm super soft and warm.

Finally it was time to get back on the river, which was brown and high not like the crystal clear meandering waters of the day before, because the river we walked up to the waterfall the day before had burst its banks because of localised overnight rain.


There was someone on the flying fox as we passed the Gravity Canyon getting towed up after the 100mph descent…brrrrrrr!

All too soon we reached our destination 11km downstream and it was lunchtime again, this time a bit more inventive:

Then Tom appeared and it was packing up time:

…then the drive back to the lodge, hot showers, and a huge roast dinner. Nice.

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Written by helenbcn

November 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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