The Opposite of Flat (Part One) – Rakaia River

“On a Mish” #379 The Opposite of Flat (Part One). Rakaia River. Hakatere Conservation Park. 20.6.2023. Whatever the plan was I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the one I was following. Not only have my long days in the mountains been replaced by short stints in between physiotherapy and doctors appointments. I now live away from my favourite adventure playground of Fiordland and I no longer reside in the place I poured my life savings into. The plan was to move to Te Anau and live happily ever after, and nowadays things couldn’t be anymore different. With a head full of negative thoughts I needed to do the only thing I know that will cheer me up. I needed to grab my gear and my dog and head to where the land is the opposite of flat…

My life of uphill travel was cut down by a fridge door. It still makes me laugh / cry that my hip was messed up in such a strange way. And just like the way I was injured, the unfortunate event itself was far from normal. Instead of a simple break I got my muscle tissue smushed against my hip bone which damaged nerves in both my hip and back. Both are rather important in multi day mountain travel and I both have been switched to the ‘old man setting’. With that said, I may have been taken away from the mountain tops but I can still get to their bases and the valleys that lay below.

My post injury missions have kept the crazy at bay and with the wild-ness building I needed to escape into the wilderness. A series of frustrating events meant I couldn’t hike too far, but luckily I have modified my missions to suit. The added addition of excellent enhancer Ernie makes any mish even more magic, and the relieving results are really good!

Our plan was to drive most of the way up the road which weaves and winds towards the divide in the magnificent Rakaia valley. My idea was to camp near Double Hill and potentially clamber my way up to the top of the very unusual double lump mini mountain.

We left Christchurch in a less than motivating drizzle, but after about an hour the clouds were left behind and the mountains were on display for all to see. This didn’t mean the area was speared of dampness and the very mud road was a sign that there had been a lot of rain in the area.

With my car now more brown than green I got to a point near the top of the road where I turned off the main road through the area and on to a rough track that took me towards the Rakaia River. The Cr-V creaked and groaned as it pushed on along like a wily old war veteran towards the gravel of the Rakaia Riverbed. I had made it to the place I had planned to camp and all around was land that is the opposite of flat. Now I had to find a suitable spot to view it from.

Looking Up the Mighty Rakaia River

I had been here before and knew it was a place that offered everything I required. The difference with that trip when compared with this one was the fact that the wind determined where I pitched my tent. On this day I had barely a breeze and it meant I could put my transportable shelter anywhere.

My original idea of clambering up the side of the north peak of Double Hill(699m) however my body had much more relaxed ideas. Unfortunately that thought was quashed by the fact that I didn’t have the energy or full functioning frame to take on that challenge. I decided on a much easier option, and that was to lug my gear out onto the massive riverbed and hopefully find some epicness while there.

Now with a much more achievable mish in front of me I began my quest to find sanctuary in the wide open surroundings of the mighty Rakaia Valley

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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