Saturday 26th April

Glorious day dawned.
But after late nights etc everyone was dragging the chain in the waking up and getting themselves organised area!
There was some discussion as to what to do with the day and Steve drove off to check out the Waimak River status.
The kids and I packed up and were leaving just as he arrived back.
That river was too high and dirty so we arranged to meet later at Rakaia Gorge and go from there.
We drove over to Hororata to spend some time with Keith & Kass.
They are looking after 4 youngsters and on arrival the girls all gelled very quickly.
Mahalia loved how friendly Tallia & Jade were – AND – there was a horse!!
Azzan took their dog for a fairly energetic walk and then hung out with Shae.
K&K and I sat out in the porch and enjoyed the morning sunshine over a cuppa and a chat.
But for late autumn that sunshine was very hot so eventually we headed indoors.
Just as I was making moves to leave, after being there for an hour or so, the girls wanted to go riding!
So Mahalia went off for a quick ride on Kate while the boys were having fun outside on the trampolines.
We needed to move along if we were going to meet Steve & Laura at the gorge so had to drag kids away around 12:30pm.
They were pleading as we left for the kids to come stay with us on the farm so hopefully that will happen soon.
Said good bye to Keith & Kass and we were on our way again.
I was very glad to find the crew parked up at the river as we had no cell reception to trace them otherwise.
Laura & Merren had packed up food for a picnic so it was spread out and we enjoyed our lunch whilst watching quite a few other boats being launched into the river.
Finally Steve around 2pm decided to put his boat in.
And 15 mins later Mahalia, Azzan & I were boarding and zipping off up the river.
My photos are pretty random as I was just pointing and shooting and holding on tight!
The river was in flood so plenty of water but that gives other difficulties.
You can see the normal colour of the river here when we came over it just a couple of days ago.
But Steve had it all under control so I was quite relaxed and really enjoyed the trip.
It is very spectacular scenery up there.
Majestic, colourful cliffs, narrow guts of water opening out into wider stretches.
Finally we turned back and headed down river again.
Going back was much bumpier and our spines got a real hammering as we bounced and jolted our way over the choppy waters.
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Thanks so much Steve – it was fantastic.
Great to be out in the elements doing something so exhilarating.

Then it was Kristi & Merren’s turn.
Azzan was more than happy to go for a second trip 🙂
Laura & I sat and chatted whilst swatting sandflies.
Mahalia relaxed in the car.
With the combination of being really weary & the hot sun I was battling quite a headache so eventually succumbed to taking some Panadine.
By the time they returned it was 3:30pm and the day was beginning to cool off.
Time was leaving us too so we had to make tracks as we had nearly 2 hours of driving ahead of us.

We drove across to the Waimakariri Gorge bridge and then down via Cust.
Stopped their briefly to get an ice cream and stretch legs and wake myself up.
Then fuelled up in Rangiora.
The sun was setting as we drove north towards Waipara.
Had to pull over so Mahalia could get these photos.
The sky was so beautiful.
We arrived at Ross & Lenore’s around 6pm.
So good to finally stop.
I had been battling to stay awake for the last part of the journey.
Crashed out!
Shoshannah breezed in soon after with a group of her friends.
They were all happy and bright and exuding massive amounts of young hormones and energy!
They left and we had dinner.
Lenore had cooked a chicken and veges – it was so good, I was starving!
Then the kids eventually headed off to bed.
Last night before camp starts so need some sleep.
R&L and I chatted until way after 11:30pm.
Then I fell into bed.
Slept like a log!

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