The night on the shed floor all hooded up in stocking nets to stop the beasties from leaving bite marks worked.  It too meant a dry tent when the yellow ball blazed through the cloud to dry up all the rain.  The forecast for the upcoming days was positive and gave us some comfort that any wetness encountered would be bottom up.

Grocery items were placed into shopping trolleys as we ticked off items to be purchased.  It felt good to be getting non-conforming shelf stuff that needn’t be carried.  Too much, we had to use cartons versus supermarket bags.  Thank goodness there was a complimentary pick up by the company we were hiring the canoes off.  The time it took to drive from supermarket to location, we learnt our daughter Claire had got a tattoo of the world map inked on her back!  What kids get up too when parents aren’t there.

Meeting the operators took our mind off paternal responsibility.  Or was it the whiteboard that read “car in river” under Hazards on the route we were to take?  After putting our signatures to taking full ownership of our future eight days on the Wanganui River, we retired to a piece of field to set up camp and sort our food and gear into barrels for carriage.

“Just Add Mince” means what it says.  Except we thought it was a mince dinner already in a can and it wasn’t.  Just the sauce.

Perhaps there was some trepidation at what lay ahead.

There is 234 kilometres from the first paddle until the last with 239 named rapids.

And a car in the middle of that somewhere in-between!