19 March 2012

Lake Coleridge & Rakaia River

Our path then led us down a sleepy dirt road past beautiful lakes to the tiny settlement of Coleridge village,  where we spent a lovely night at the Lake Coleridge Lodge and collected our 2nd food parcel.  The lodge is a little out of our normal price range but it is located in the middle of nowhere and we were able to send our food parcel there and after so many days of walking a little bit of an indulgence must be a good thing.  In the evening we sat in the hot tub looking at the stars which were lighting up the sky.

The Rakaia river is considered to be a "hazard zone" by the Te Araroa Trust and for the safety of walkers they suggest that you get transport around the river.  However, in good weather we had heard it was possible to walk across and we hadn't had rain for a while.  I was very keen to give it a go, Madeleine was less so but I wasn't going to put either of us in danger...

We had been advised where to cross and another guest at the lodge, Joe, offered to drive us up the river to where we thought we would be able to scout for a safer place to attempt the crossing.  It is a huge river bed several kilometres across and from the bank it was impossible to see how many strands of the river we would have to cross.

We chose our spot carefully and started to cross by holding on to each other which is the safest way.  There was a pretty strong current and I was hip deep in water and struggling to hold my footings.  So I told Madeleine that we were heading back but as I turned I was able to hold my position better against the water and slowly we edged the last few feet into shallower water.  Yippie - but how many more strands like this would there be ahead of us?  As it turned out, none!  We walked the rest of the river bed to the bank and we were both jubilant.


Elaine said...

Happy belated birthday m'dear! That river crossing sounds a bit hair raising, well done for holding your nerve! Sorry to hear those dreaded sand flies are giving you hassle. Hope they are a temporary phase.

Elaine x

Lake Coleridge Lodge said...

Well done for getting across the Rakaia! Really good to know you made it safely with only one scare at the start and then an easy walk. We enjoyed meeting you both at the Lodge so thanks for staying with us and all the best for the rest of your journey...Toni & Dean

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Anonymous said...

Hi Phillipa and all!

Great job on crossing the Rakaia. I could not cross it while I was there as it was high but crossing Rangitata was fun.

This is another Te Araroa tramper.
I finished in Bluff on March 9th. What a walk it has been! I wish I could put into words but no words are enough. Anyways... enjoy your walk ..there are more beautiful mountains waiting for you further down.