We caught a water taxi from Paihia to Waikere landing, it was a foggy morning but we needed to leave early to catch the high tide, once the fog cleared, the trip through the many islands was very enjoyable. Waikere is a very small place with a dotting of houses, the locals we chatted with were friendly. The walk to the start of the river track got a bit narrow just before hitting the river bed, at one stage I fell and was close to a ten meter fall, sticks went flying but I was lucky that it was overgrown so my leg only got stuck in some roots on the path so I clawed my way back from that one. We hit the river walking and the weather was beautiful, there were a few spots where Bella and I ended up just below waist deep, that might be a height thing. Bella's pump took a dunking at one stage and as we thought it would be it was all good, but you still have those moments, her previous pump was only splash proof. As we were completing the 4kms of the river walk light showers were starting, just lightly at first, when we came out, the rain started. We hit the Russell Forrest track and then rain didn't let up, track was in good shape but everything soon became drenched. We knew there was no camp site for another 20kms so we set up after clearing some gorse away from the track. More rain and more rain, all night... the tent did not hold up well that night, condensation made all the sleeping bags wet and it was so damp in the morning, it felt like our pack weight had doubled. This was my first low point, we walked in a slow cold rhythm trying to get our mojo back. It came back 15kms later along with the ride to Whananaki.