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  • Writer's pictureTalia

A meander not on the Meander

6:30 at the sheds.

With one new boat and two kayaks the mighty zook and the Fiona the falcon took to the brooker.

An exited team of 5 with Josh and Will in one car and Ben, Liam and Talia in the other headed off to banjos in Campbeltown

Next stop Meander get in. After a total of 3 hours drive, some power poos and realising that Talia had left her on river shoes at home we discovered that there were some people doing work on the dam. Josh drone scouted and found a crane and multiple people and cars at the bottom. The dam was also releasing. This was devastating news. The crew headed back into Meander village for some reception. After some lone tears shed and wiki rivers consulted it came down to three options

  1. Mersey lower section

  2. Leven

  3. Low Nive

We decided on the low Nive. Up to the highlands it is! After selecting to go the brooker on the way up to the meander due to a heavy covering of now on the highlands we thought that it would have melted away by now. We thought wrong.

The warm sunny climate of meander gave way to blue skies with a few cm of snow and ice on the roads. We crawled along the roads encouraged by seeing a corrola successfully complete the journey we headed onwards. Soon we were at the turn off in Miena and headed into some thick snow clouds. The massive snow flakes pelted Fiona the Falcon which handled the thin covering of soft snow well. Up until a point 3km from the get in a somewhat steep section proved to be impassable by Fiona. The sun began to shine again and after some discussion and snowball fights the decision was made to pile 5 people, 1 raft, 2 kayaks, 5 people worth of helmets, life jackets and wetsuits/drysuits into the Mighty Zook who gracefully took everyone 2km closer to the get in. After dumping people and gear in 5cm of snow at the top of the hill and heading back to the get out Josh smashed the run catching up to us before we’d even finished carrying gear to the river. As snow covered the road we were able to snow raft the majority of the section down to the river only carrying the last 500m or so.

Hopping on river at last the crew of 5 determined not to waste the day hit the Upper Nive at 3pm.

While being on the low size (13 cumics) we had the most magical paddle. About 15 minutes in we found ourselves in heavy snowfall. There was not a breath of wind as we floated down the river staring up at the massive snowflakes and catching them in our mouths. What a magical, happy ending to a chaotic start to the trip! The snow melt we were rafting on was icy cold but the beauty made it an enjoyable trip!

After carrying the rafts 300m back to the cars we were packed up and ready to go by 4. Talia discovered the best multi purpose on river snow shoes are blunnies. After taking off a pair of wettie socks and fleece socks the third pair of wool socks were still dry.

We arrived back at the sheds at 6:30pm, a full 12 ours out and about for a solid 45 mins of paddling! While it was not what we had planned it was still a lovely day out!

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