|Tuesday 1st June - Tuakopai River|
So today was the day that I finally lost my virginity on the Tuakopai River. The Kaimai’s had got around 40mm of rain overnight and during the morning and we were lucky to time it just right for an afternoon paddle. Meeting at Waimarino at 2, we all got kitted up undercover as it was still pissing down with rain. We then headed up the Kaimai’s, sorting the shuttle on the way. Arriving at the put in Drew came running over to our car looking a bit pale after realising that he had forgotten his gear...well that’s a beer fine but luckily we had seen it thrown it in with our stuff.
Jumping on the river our enthusiasm was just about uncontrollable. Both Josh and I had never run this river before, making us the virgins for the trip so we had the usual mix of excitement and fear. The rest of the crew – Dave, Matt, Drew, and Blair had done it before so were full of advice and tales of their previous adventures. As soon as Blair hit the water, we were off. No time to waste. The river begins with a few small rapids, and then plunges off the first waterfall which is around 8m but not vertical. We ran right, and so began a series of nonstop action. At Corkscrew falls we all jumped out for a look, with Josh and Drew deciding to walk it. Then came Spa falls, which we also had a look at fist. This is an amazing waterfall that plunges off an 8m vertical drop into a small pool (about the size of a large spa pool hence its name), then straight over a small 1/2m weir that is no problem. A drop like that can only leave a smile on your face!! It was an amazing experience and something to add to my all time favourite’s basket. After Spa falls comes Douglas falls, which we all walked due to its reputation at a back-breaker. Then it was into Pace falls. This is long slide that leads into a shallow waterfall, which then lands on another slide. This all means that you have no control of your speed what so ever because you can’t get a paddle stroke in. All you can do is stay straight, hang on, and enjoys the fastest ride in a kayak that you will ever get! Haha this is awesome.
1.Josh dacking himself above Spa Falls
2. Dave being Dave
3. Spa Falls
4. Matt doing the salmon call