The wind was bitter and we already knew the water would be freezing – but we reluctantly tugged on our wetsuits anyway and headed to the van that was taking us down to the river.
We started off on our knees and soon enough found the confidence to stand up, which was actually surprisingly easy.
The board is pretty well balanced and so we didn’t end up in the water every 10 seconds like we thought we would.
As long as you keep your feet in the right place anyway…
Multi taking the paddle and my GoPro stick sometimes meant i was whisked into a bush or a tree, if i didn’t keep an eye on the river, but when theres a selfie involved…
(Crazy ‘I will not hit that fast approaching tree’ concentration face.)
We paddled down the river for about half an hour before the sun decided to join us half way – perfect!
At the bottom of the river we hopped off our boards and loaded them onto the van before heading back to the hostel for a shower.
(We stayed at Basil’s Hostel – find it here.)
After warming our fingers and toes with a hot shower, we had most definitely worked up an appetite. The hostel owner recommended a steak place which we initially rejected due to our ‘backpacker budget restrictions’.
However if you pop to the hostel reception you can pick up a little discount card which means you get a beer and a steak for $15 NZ Dollars (about £8).
Never one to resist a discount, we all agreed on the steak.
(None of us could really find the energy to search elsewhere anyway.)
Denniston Dog (find them here) is a 5 minutes walk from Bazil’s hostel and is a little red and yellow building, which you can identify below…
Can I just say it was probably the nicest steak i’ve ever had, AND it comes raw on a stone hot grill so you cook it yourself to your preferred taste.
It was like something you’d find in a quirky hotspot in London, so I was super impressed.
Take a look for yourself…
It was served with fries (equally as amazing) which were crispy on the shell and soft inside, alongside a salad which had the yummiest dressing on.
I give this meal a 9.5/10 which is strong but well deserved.
So if you head to Westport out of choice or on the Kiwi Experience – make sure you head down!!
To finish off the day, the Kiwi Experience had organised and welcomed us down to the beach for a bonfire.
We were tired but didn’t want to head home and suffer FOMO.
WHAT is fomo? i hear you ask…
This is a term i have learnt since being in New Zealand…
The ‘Fear Of Missing Out’.
So yes, we didn’t want to miss out & joined everybody on the beach…
With a bag of marshmallows, biscuits and some driftwood off the beach we toasted the marshmallows on the fire and squidged them in between biscuits for a chocolate less smore.
For a place that had not much going on… we had a ‘sweet as’ (New Zealand slang) day!