August 17, 2015

As I sat down to write this post, all I can think about is how I almost didn’t go because it was raining. It seems like 2015 has been the year for me to get outside of my comfort zone without me even knowing it. Never in my life could I have pictured myself doing some of the things that the last couple of years have brought. Big things like moving to Hawaii, but also smaller things like our 19k hike in New Zealand, have challenged and changed me in ways I could never have imagined. I definitely didn’t plan any of it, but it’s been so exhilarating, and I think it’s made me more open and happier.

Which brings me to one of the smaller things of 2015 that challenged me. One of the day trips we took from Queenstown was to go funyaking on the Dart River (basically like kayaking). It was a super cold, rainy, foggy morning, and the entire way there, I was not sure if if I actually wanted to spend the morning out in the rain. As I watched the rain pour down the windows on the bus, I had some serious doubts as to whether or not I would go through with this.

Funyaking on the Dart River (1 of 36)

When we got there, the tour guides said that it was lightly raining on and off where we were going. They gave us the option of either going on the trip or going home with a full refund. They said that conditions were completely safe and that this was actually a pretty cool kind of day to see the river, with the clouds hovering over the mountains. But if we didn’t want to go out in the rain, they didn’t want us to be miserable. I really didn’t want to be cold and wet, but I wanted to go on the adventure.

At first, it seemed like everyone would take the refund, and I was leaning that way too. I knew that Nick would leave the decision up to me because a little rain never bothered him. When another couple said they would go, I guess I realized I didn’t want to miss out. I looked at Nick and said, why not? I figured the worst that would happen was that I was a little bit wet for a while. We decided to go anyway, and I am so glad we did.

Funyaking on the Dart River (2 of 36)

They bundled us up in wet suits and jackets and told us that the weather looked like it would clear up a bit. Once I had that on, I knew there was no turning back. A boat took us up the river, so that we just floated downstream in the funyaks. All we really had to do was steer. As soon as we got out there, it stopped raining, and I knew we had made the right choice. It was still cloudy, but I kind of liked it. Those clouds…

Funyaking on the Dart River (3 of 36)Funyaking on the Dart River (4 of 36)Funyaking on the Dart River (7 of 36)

After we floated for a while, our guides took us into a chasm. The water was the most incredible shade of turquoise!

Funyaking on the Dart River (9 of 36)Funyaking on the Dart River (11 of 36)

I know I look completely ridiculous with about 5 different layers on. But I wasn’t cold at all! One of the tour guides gave me an extra layer because I told her I was worried about being too cold. I look crazy, but I felt so comfortable, so I really didn’t care!

Funyaking on the Dart River (10 of 36)Funyaking on the Dart River (17 of 36) Funyaking on the Dart River (20 of 36)Funyaking on the Dart River (18 of 36)

The best part of the day! And what rain?!

Funyaking on the Dart River (22 of 36) Funyaking on the Dart River (23 of 36) Funyaking on the Dart River (24 of 36) Funyaking on the Dart River (25 of 36) Funyaking on the Dart River (32 of 36)  Funyaking on the Dart River (33 of 36) Funyaking on the Dart River (35 of 36) Funyaking on the Dart River (36 of 36)

After we went into the chasm, we got out of our funyaks to have lunch. The lunch was good, but there were sand flies everywhere trying to get our food. Then we finished our journey down the river and a bus took us back to our hotel.

We had so much fun! We went with Dart River Jet Safaris and I loved our tour guides and the way the entire tour was set up. The only thing that I kind of didn’t like was that the bathrooms along the way were pretty gross – but nothing that you wouldn’t expect in a park type place. There were lots of sand flies, too, but they didn’t bother me too much. Overall I think these things are totally worth it to get to go into the chasms and drift along this gorgeous river. Highly recommend!!

I can’t believe that I almost didn’t go on this trip because of rain. Granted, we got lucky with the weather clearing up, but I think it was a risk worth taking.

 

 

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8 responses to “Funyaking on the Dart River”

  1. Isabel says:

    Amazing experience! It is so cliche but true, the best things happen outside our comfort zone.

  2. Jacqueline says:

    Ah, how exciting to find another NZ traveler! I took my own 3-week road trip through NZ last winter, and it was sp spectacular. The country sure challenged me as well, and I left feeling on top of the world. I am sad though that I didn’t even know about this when I was in Queenstown!

    • Carolann says:

      Hey there! I guess you will just have to go back!! I can’t wait to head over to your blog and read about what you did in New Zealand because I completely fell in love with this beautiful country. I am already trying to figure out when I can go back!

  3. Alan Savage says:

    Those clouds and that water! Wow!

  4. Wow, well done you!! I have to be honest, I probably would have chickened out but good on you for taking the plunge because with these views, it looks like it really paid off – such stunning turquoise waters and such a fun adventure 🙂

    • Carolann says:

      I got really lucky with the rain clearing up! Had it been pouring rain the entire time, this might have ended up in the category of “things I would never do again while traveling!!” But I am so glad I did it!!

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