Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beached and Bushed!

Great day - great times! 10 challengers plus 3 supervisors participated in the CACTUS Term 4 Challenge.
Leaving home base at Bodyworx at 5pm we headed for Sunny Bight to gear up and load the kayaks with our equipment. A 9 km paddle lay ahead of us. (Click on the map at right to have a closer look in Google Maps.)
Idyllic conditions prevailed as we skirted the western shore of Kaniere to Laura's Delight. Great laughs rippled across the lake when we rafted up for a game of chicken kayak. My vote for rooster was definitely Katsu!
Dark descended as we beached at Lawyer's Delight. Challengers were dispersed in the Bush along the lake shore for an hour of solitude in the bush. Kiwi calls and "moreporks" punctured the silence of night - or was that just our stomachs growling for food having not eaten since Sunny Bight? Back to the beach (after the search party eventually found the lost hoochie!) for a 10 pm pasta cook up and set up camp. Lights out at midnight after everyone was laid out along the beach under hoochies or in survival bags. 5:40 wake up call and 25 minutes to get ready for the paddle across slip bay to the checkpoint for porridge a la Isaac. A dawn south-easterly gave some interest to the crossing but the group swiftly paddled directly into the headwind to slip alongside the waiting ute and trailer. All fed up and off to the start of the Mount Brown track at a double march. We entered the bush at 8:40 and ascended to the ridge appreciating the newly recut track. We made the hut by 11:30 for lunch at the Mt Brown Hilton overlooking the lake. What a magnificent job the tireless Mt Brown hut team have made relocating this now classy establishment from the Arahura. Paradise! Snowy peaks, magnificent views, brilliant sunshine and just enough breeze to refresh!
A two hour descent saw us back at the ute for 2:30 where Grant (thanks Grant!) was waiting with the van.
Great times - big thanks to Pip (the new CACTUS) Challenger for her fantastic support and leadership and to Isaac taking the time out to give back to CACTUS, Tai Poutini for the use of the  Kayaks and all who made it such a great time. Especially the awesome CACTI!
[Check out the slideshow at right and click on it to open up the album.]

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