Health & Wellbeing, Technology, travel

Inflatable Crocodiles, Dora-the-Exploring and an Angry Gust

“I looked in the rear view mirror and all I saw was ‘gators” is a sentence I never imagined my girlfriend (or anyone, for that matter) uttering – but it’s 2023 and anything is possible. Waitangi weekend saw my partner and I tenting at Rakahuri (Ashley Gorge).

Our modest abode for the mutunga wiki

She brought two inflatable crocodiles (alligators?) for us to ride down the river rapids on. This was unexpected, but absolutely my kind of oddball behaviour. Kids wow-ed, adults laughed and dogs woofed as we drifted downstream with the current – sometimes snagging the odd stone when the water hit a shallow bit.

On the first day, we spent a good bit of time and breath filling these crocodiles. Neither of us wanted to deflate them when we knew we were going to use them again after packing up our stuff. The result was… this. → → →

Exhibit A: a happy goober with a croc-induced neck kink

The Storm

On our second night, there was a gargantuan gust of wind that just would not let up. It threatened the very integrity of our modest residence, whipping numerous tent pegs out of the ground and causing canvas to flap around in the wind. We eventually shifted our sleeping position so that the wind current was at our feet rather than trying to smother us as we struggled to sleep. The wind was so strong that tree branches fell down, and in the morning we awoke to one tree (and the swing hanging from it) cordoned off with traffic cones. What the actual heck? I will admit to burrowing into my girlfriend in the night when the storm was at its’ angriest. Even with earplugs it was horrific, no one was sleeping, babies and young children were crying. To say the least, it was an eventful night.

In spite of the drama (I hope you enjoyed my gripping narrative) we had an exquisite weekend, and definitely intend to return. If you are Waitaha (Canterbury) or Aotearoa-based, I highly recommend checking it out, as it’s a lovely little stay.

P.S. Crocodiles and Alligators

In a neurodivergent digression, I give you some closing thoughts, only tangentially related to our subject matter.

I spent approximately four minutes googling the difference between alligators and crocodiles. The graphic below was the least horrifying image I could find.

So, the difference between the two? Apparently very little. My concern is that we have a V-shaped snout here (crocodiles) combined with hidden lower teeth (alligators).

I’m putting it to a vote – were we riding inflatable crocodiles or alligators?


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