Mud and Sand – Waipara River / Motunau

“A Mish a Day” #225 (Part 2) Waipara River Mouth/Motunau. Hurunui Region. 28.11.2020. It didn’t matter if Adam attempted to go forward or backward, the truck went nowhere. Somehow we managed to time getting stuck with a break in the rain, and this proved to be a real blessing for us. The mud was a mix of solid clay and sloppy liquid which stuck to anything it touched, including us!

Somehow the truck was bellied on the high point between two very deep ruts. First we tried the plastic ramps under each wheel, with no success apart from a lesson as to why you should keep your windows up when in mud! Next was to find some large logs, and use the winch to pull the truck out. This also didn’t work as the logs weren’t heavy enough, and no matter how deep we dug the logs into the ground, they would always wriggle loose from the boggy mess. Our last hope was to attempt to dig the truck out with a small spade usually used to build sandcastles on the beach. The clay beneath the initial layer of mud was surprisingly hard, and the digging was tough work for the one able-bodied member of the team. Unfortunately this also didn’t work, even with Adam getting to a point where he was wearing more mud than clothing. Even though we didn’t want to admit it, it looked like we were stuck there for the night. It was now well into the evening (7.45pm), and hope was fading as fast as the evening light. Then to our amazement a near stock standard Toyota Surf came rolling around the corner. After assessing our predicament the driver quickly slammed the truck into reverse. Both Adam and I started waving frantically, and Adam began running in pursuit of our only way out of the mud. We managed to convince the driver to give us a tow, and with us holding our breaths he revved his engine after we attached the tow rope. We could both breathe again as the Jimny jumped out of its boggy prison, and onto drivable terrain. As we left the Waipara Mouth area heavy rain set in, and we were extremely happy to be out of the mud and on the move. Now the plan was to head to the small coastal settlement at Motunau. We got to the village’s camping ground just after 9pm, and set up camp as the rain eased.

Motunau Basecamp

Early-ish the next day we awoke in our small tent village to much more favourable weather. Excited about the aquatic adventure we were about to partake in, we readied the vessel for travel. We had finished Friday in mud and now as we dragged the small inflatable to the water, we were starting our Saturday in the mud of the notorious Motunau Sandbar…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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