New Years 2019-Loch Katrine

Day one:

Well our trip didn't start off how we'd hoped. Instead of leaving at 8am liked we'd planned we actually left Christchurch at 2pm. Its about a 3 hour drive there so we didn't arrive until 5pm. Once we got off the main highway and onto the gravel road, it meant for a long, windy and very dusty drive into the first lake, Lake Taylor. Any vehicle can make it to this lake. There were lots of people camping here and it's very open so the wind just sweep through it pretty bad sometimes.

Now the fun actually begins, the 4x4 track to Loch Katrine. We had a bit of rain a few days before so that meant some mud. Thankfully it wasn't that hard and you could easily go around the mud holes if you wanted to avoid them. With Jonny driving though he definitely didn't want to avoid anything fun and went through every mud hole. All was going well until we hit a pot hole just a bit to fast and saw our only water container fly 3 metres into the air and land straight back into our trailer. We didn't think we'd broken it as we couldn't see any damage but during our stay the water was disappearing very quickly through a tiny crack.We finally made it to Loch Katrine. Unfortunately our normal camp spot that Jonny had been using since he was a little boy was take but we managed to find another one that sheltered us from the wind.

Jonny's mum had joined us on this trip as we weren't able to spend Christmas with her. She had brought a tent which was packed into a suitcase. We helped her put it up, it was a 3 room tent for only 1 person!! That was a mission to put up but we managed. Thankfully it is daylight savings still which means the sun doesn't go down until 9pm so we were able to put the tent up in daylight.

Day two:

Jonny and I decided to go on a bike ride to Lake Sumner, the next Lake over. When we had our boat we went through a very small canal to Lake Sumner. Unfortunately the farmer who manages the farm has dug out the paper road that leads to Lake Sumner meaning if you wanted to drive there you'd have to drive through a swamp. There are gates there but they are locked and you can only go through them if you're walking or biking. We have tried to drive through the swamp area once before as we had walked on it and it felt pretty solid. But with the weight of the vehicle we got stuck. Luckily we had friends with us that were able t pull us out. We got half way on our bike ride and Jonny's tyre popped. My bike was fine so I was able to bike back to camp slowly but it was a long walk back back for Jonny. Once we got back we decided we needed a nap and lied in the sun for the rest of the day.

Day three:

On this day it was a bit windier then the other days. It was to cold to kayak and we didn't have a spare tube to fix Jonnys bike. We all slept in and took the day nice and slow. Once the afternoon camerawomen around we decided we needed to go and do something. We went for a walk along a track called the Possum trail. A lot of hunters use tins trailer as it's covered in trees and the best pace to find possums and still very close to the camp. It follows the lake side all the way along and started off nice and easy. Jonny was wearing his tramping boot, Jonnys mum was wearing my tramping boots and I was just wearing normal running shoes. All of a sudden the track started to get really muddy, Jonny carried me through parts of the track and once it started getting really bad he decided to walk further to see if it got any better. It didn't. We turned around and went back to camp. After that we took the dog for a swim in the lake to wash all the mud off her and we set up our electric shower pump and boiled lots of water and had nice quick hot showers.

Day four:

It was New Years eve!

We went for what I thought was going to be a quick kayak. It turned into 3 hours and Kayaking all the way from Loch Katrine to Lake Sumner through the canal. It doesn't look that far on a map but when you're out there it feels like forever. It was very tough, we were battling the wake form other boats and going against the wind. I felt like giving up a few times but Jonny kept encouraging me to go just a bit further. We made it through the canal. It was a bit scary as we had seen lots of boats go really fast through there. Thankfully we didn't come across any. Once we were through the other side we found a nice little beach, parked the boats up and had a nice rest.

We headed back to camp through the canal, it was so much easier on the way back as we were going with the wind. However there were a few times I thought I was going to fall in as the wind was so strong it was creeping mini waves on the lake. I had the kayak sideways and that's not the best thing to do when there's waves coming. No one fell in though.

As the evening came upon us everyone was celebrating the last day of 2019. many campers had made mini fires and closer to midnight someone was letting off fireworks.

Day five:

The start of 2020! Today was a chilled out day, We got up late, ate lots and spent time just relaxing.

After a long 5 days of camping and only showering once (with lots of swimming but it's just not the same) we packed up and went home. I got to drive from Loch Katrine to Lake Taylor. I was a little scared as I don't like going through mud very much but I did it. I went through every mud hole and din't get stuck or break anything. On our way home we had a few challenges to face. The trailer that we took had a tyre malfunction. unfortunately we didn't have a spare for it either. Lucky for us though, one of our friends had come to see us for the day and knew how to fix it to make it back to Christchurch without causing an accident. We did have to stop a few times to pump it up but we got it back safely and in one piece. Lesson learnt; also carry a spare tyre.

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