Reflection for Tramp No. 1180 Surprise Tramp (Karakariki falls river tramp) 7/3/21 by C Richards
It was a muggy morning with light rain in the air. Not what I wanted. At 8am nearly everyone was in the car awaiting a surprise tramp, not knowing what to expect. After picking up a small tramper on routine we arrived at the starting point after half an hours driving. I gave a short briefing about what they had signed up for, and things to watch out for. Then we crossed the cattle grid to the start.
Over a stile, then a swing bridge, 10 minutes later a second swing bridge followed by views of Karakariki falls for a photo op. Then the hard bit, a grunt up the ridge. On route more photo ops for fungi and a Kererū (native wood pigeon). A variety of trees named by Christina, some entangled with thick vines. At the turn off point we took a left past a blue tarp bivy. Following a hunters track marked with white squares and orange ribbon, we headed towards the river. On the way down Lynne enjoyed a cheese and tomato toastie while Jane got stung by a wasp, we think. After a little cream on the sting we reached the river for mid morning tea.
I tend to avoid wet feet but this river walk was nice. Not too cold, not too deep, not fast. (the goldilocks of rivers to walk). We meanded down the river sticking to the shallows. Occasionally climbing banks and following orange ribbons, to navigate around obstructions like dams, deep pools and waterfalls. The first and highest waterfall had a monitoring station above it. To get below we took a tricky very narrow path on a steep bank. We stopped by the waterfall for a photo op and Lunch. Knowone went for a dip in the pool under the waterfall.
After Lunch we soldiered on down the river occasionally going to land until the next waterfall. This was not as high but split into two distinct flows, another photo op and more water walking. Further down stream I came across a very small freshwater Crayfish. Lynne spotted a few more fungi on tree trunks which had fallen across the river. We then ascended to a fence which we climbed, and followed the farm track in the direction of the river. This got a little muddy, especially when the track went to an open field. After reaching a thick wooded area we climbed the fence again and headed for the river down the bank. After half an hour of wet foot walking we came out at Karakariki falls.
Then after another 20 minutes we arrived back at the car park.
Wet things off, dry things on. Everyone seemed to enjoy the little adventure. Despite the stings, cuts, mud and wet feet. An ice cream on the way home as promised completed a surprisingly successful tramp.