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Showing posts from December, 2017

Who wants to fall in the Whanganui River?

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Saturday the 16th of December, we left Taumarunui for a 7 days adventure on the Whanganui River. This is a very special river, that enjoys legal personality. Seriously.
We're very excited about this journey, as it will be the first time in our life that we spend more than a few hours on a river. So, here we go!
After a security briefing and a security check, they allow us to start paddling on the river. It will take us 7 to 8 days to reach the city of Whanganui, 217km further.
After less than 10', the current brings us on a rock and we fill up a half of our canoe. Keeping the balance is difficult, but we somehow manage not to soak and to empty it. Back we are, beware beware!
After a while, we hit... No, not a rock. A tree this time. A beautiful branch of a death tree that has nothing better to do than standing at the center of the current. Let's put things like they are : we tried to avoid it, really. But the renter told us that the front of the canoe is very strong and t…

Why walking 44km when you could hike 25?

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Monday 11th December 2017 
When we woke up, the rain welcomed us. Val came to catch us and dropped us off at the start of the trail. We're ready to walk 84 km in the next 4 days. We know that it's an easy trail, because it's tailored for bicycles.
We start walking around 12 noon, under the rain. Rain is a good friend, that tends to stick to you when it catches you. Very good, we're not impressed, there's a hut where we can stay tonight, no need to pitch the tent.
To reach the hut, we need to take a sidewalk. The nice path turns into a muddy one and it rains twice as hard. Lucky us! Worse than that, when we reach the hut, the 4 bunk beds are already occupied... But... These 4 people are TA hikers and we know them. Two of them are a couple. We call them the Lovebirds (name found by our friend Kelvin) because they are on their honeymoon travel. And the lovely lovebirds offer us to give us one of their 2 mattresses.
That's really a beautiful gesture, that we apprec…

Meet the cows

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Thursday 7th December 2017
After a little road walk, we started hiking on a small path near the river. It was well hidden and full of herbs. I guess not so many hikers walk on this part of the trail...
We arrive in farmlands where young cows are grazing. At first, they seemed to be nice and friendly, following us through the field. But after a while, they started to be pushy, trying to lick us and jumping everywhere around us. We didn't feel confident, so we crossed the fence in the hope that we would escape them. But it wasn't any better. We had to walk between the electric fence and a steep slope that plunged into a muddy river. At the end of the fence, we ended facing trees that we couldn't pass and had to cross the fence again, in order to reach the adjacent field. But cows were still there and our hiking is sticks would barely impress them. Finally we made it. We started laughing as soon as we were on the other side of the fence : what a great story to tell to our rea…

Rotorua and its volcanic activity

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Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th December
We left our friends on Tuesday morning. Wayne went to work and Jan dropped us at the bus stop before starting to work as well.
We had decided to stop one night in Rotorua and enjoy some of the most popular touristic sites of New-Zealand.

I won't tell much about the visits, you'll see some more pictures down here. Just something about the geysers. Without kidding, waiting for a geyser to erupt for one hour, and seeing that it happens, the power of the water, the sound of the eruption, the sight of the water high in the airs... It has the same effect on me than a beautiful end in a movie : I started crying. It was so beautiful...
On Wednesday, after visiting Wai-o-tapu, we took our bus back to Hamilton. From there, we still had 14km to hike before reaching our destination of the day, Whatawhata. We arrived just after the sunset. It was a pleasant walk through the farmlands.



At the pub where we pitched our tent, there were already 5 young Am…

Friends and more

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Saturday 2nd - Monday 4th December 2017 
Off trail we went... And it was so good!
Invited by our friends, Jan and Wayne, we arrived in Whakatane in the afternoon. We had absolutely no idea about how this place would be. But knowing that we would see our friends was enough to decide us.
However, our stay there went beyond all our expectations. First, Whakatane is a beautiful place near the sea and we got the chance to swim in the pacific ocean. Then, the food was memorable. Furthermore, we visited an incredible place : an active marine volcano situated on an island. And last but not least, the time spent with our friends confirmed us that they are really people we want to keep in touch with and meet again.

Let's start with the food...

OK, I've got something to tell you here that relates to the title of the article.
We decided to go for a swim. But... Remember? We're hiking. No swimsuits in our backpacks! So, what to do? Easy : that's what underwears are made for, isn…