Grandeur on Steroids (Part Four) – The Upper Rakaia

“On a Mish” #352 Grandeur on Steroids – Part Four. Rieschek Hut to Manuka Point Station. Upper Rakaia River. Canterbury. Aotearoa. 8.10.2022. A lot of the ups and downs of my injury journey have been made easier by bloody decent people. To fight this battle alone would have been a death wish and I’m more into going on a mish! Some of my darkest times were while everyone was locked up for covid round one back in 2020, and it was near the end of our sentence that my cousin Adam asked if I’d like to go on a mission with him in his Suzuki Jimny. Now a couple of years later and many missions down, I might still be a bit buggered but the Jimny and our experience has grown to the point where we feel like we could get anywhere…

During our quest up the Rakaia Valley we occasionally saw light tyre marks and by the look of it they were nothing like the 33inch tyres on the Jimny. We had chatted about who the tracks could belong to and just before we saw the tiny hut we saw a very unmodified truck parked outside. Like with Evans Hut, we planned to camp near the hut so we could use the toilet and have a back up plan if the weather took a turn. Just around the corner from the hut was the perfect campsite, with a historic rockpile fireplace. As we began to set up camp light rain began to fall, but due to the unbelievable grandeur we were not bothered one bit.

Around dusk we were cooking our dinner and to our surprise we bumped into the owner of the truck at the hut, and the only other person in the Upper Rakaia. The world shrunk after a quick chat, as it turned out the fella went to school with both of our parents and even got on the same bus to get there. The dude was a book of knowledge, knew the area well and loved to have a yarn. Eventually our mountain conversation came to an end, and he retreated to the warmth of the hut while we turned our attention to the epic burgers we had constructed in our makeshift kitchen. After a legendary feed we needed to retreat to our sleeping bags to help with the digestion and also rest our weary bodies.

Early-ish the next day I was up looking around at a place I never thought I would get to while broken, and it is safe to say my smile was ear to ear. A slow start and big breakfast was followed by another reluctant pack up, which was helped by the arrival of a mancing wind. Our job was straight forward, get back out of the valley. However, our journey was far from an easy drive. Luckily we knew our new friend had got out in his very basic truck so unless we came across the wreckage then we could definitely get out in the Jimny. A slow plod had us moving down the valley and everything was going super smooth until we got to a small body of water known as the Rakaia

Looking Back Down the Valley at Dawn

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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