Back to the start of our journey at Whakahoro, we had great weather; warm days, mornings all the hills were covered with cloud but this cleared to beautiful weather while we took camp apart. Minimal wind and the water was high due to rain the previous days. Me and Bella are in a two person canoe and Chris is in his own. We are slow but steady; we have four large barrels with all our gear in them in the two person canoe, we had to pull over and rearrange our load a few times. First night spent at John Coull camp site, loos are the worst we have come across at a Doc site. Due to the high floods a few months earlier the loos aren't working as they should so they reeked. We enjoyed the walk to the bridge to nowhere, its an amazing bridge and it’s story is interesting. The Managapurua landing was busy with canoes, when we arrived the landing was busy so we tried to exit on the side of the rock, no a good idea for me the lady with zero balance, opening the barrels, while standing up in the canoe was comical until one of the bags fell between the canoe and the rock wall, so lucky, I got to it just before it went into the depths of the river. Then after the completing the bridge to nowhere walk and trying to get back into the canoe, the canoe shifted away from the wall, but I was still attached, one leg in each. Bella would have taken a photo of me doing the splits over the water. I refused to fall in and was lucky to have the helping hand of a cyclist waiting for the jet boats. Second night was at Tieke Kainga this is a really nice site, with a small Marae on top of the hill, loos were good, lots of good water and was warm enough for a swim, fresh swim though. Warden had interesting stories of how the pa site used to have 600 residents in years gone. We saw lots of birds and goats and waterfalls and it was just beautiful floating on the calm sections when you took a moment to enjoy were you were. If I could do this over again I would use a guide. In particular Toiora Hawira, who features on Waka Worriors on Maori TV. Their company specialises in group trips. Thank you to George and Raewyn for taking us into their wonderful home, Bella was able to pat horses, walk with Harrison the sheep and see tiny baby birds in their bird boxes. The gardens are what I hope to have one day, although I would need a gardener for that. Thanks to Ashley for taking us to Wanganui, the road beside the river has been closed due to flooding, so there would have been no chance of a lift to nearly 70kms, so very fortunate to get a lift.
We didn't realise at the time that Bella's site had dislodged slightly with all the water action so she wasn't getting the correct amount of insulin through, that night she had high bloods and an over correction saw her lowest reading yet, but due to being on two hourly checks we picked it up and Bella was back to normal by the morning.