The next stop for our kiwi bus was River Valley; So remote we had to walk the last part down a huge slope as the bus couldn't get down it! All we saw for miles were sheep but they were really, really cute and there were lots of lambs so I didn't mind. The landscape looked a lot like Hobbiton with lush green rolling hills for as far as the eye could see. The sole reason for the nights stop in River Valley is for the opportunity to go whitewater rafting. We arrived in the early evening and were booked in for rafting the next day. There was no wifi at this hostel, no TV. It was a log cabin with big open fires and a really homey feel which was beautiful, especially with views of the river and valley. The accomadation was interesting as well, it was a 32 bed dorm but the dorm was made up of 2 enormous bunks so basically 2,16 person beds! Our bus had all gelled really well, we all got on and were becoming great friends so thought it'd be a laugh and it was the cheapest option. We had girls on the bottom bunk and guys on the top, this turned out a bad plan for one guy who had a bit too much to drink and fell off the top bunk!
As there was nothing to do we had to entertain ourselves somehow and it seemed the tiny bar was the only option! We weren't allowed to drink our own drink as the hostel had its own bar but we all kept sneaking up to our dorm to fill our glasses up with our own wine. We bought a few drinks too so as to be fair and they kept the bar open as long as we were buying as we were the only customers in the hostel. Everything ended up getting very messy and we all got a bit too drunk! The guy previously mentioned who fell off the bunk was also sick over the side which was horrible but all the guys helped him back up and cleared it up so not too many dramas. The hostel charged 3 dollars for a duvet which we all found pretty ridiculous so a lot of us decided to just go without. Bad plan. We failed to realise it was still winter and gets VERY cold at night, especially in old badly insulated buildings! After a freezing nights sleep we had a 7 am wake up for white water rafting. I can't even describe how awful this was on a wine hangover. We begrudgingly got up and sat through a briefing before heading off to the river. We got a bus up to the top and the end of the route was right outside the hostel which was cool.
We were all kitted out in hideous outfits and hats and soon got over our hangovers when the guides made us all jump out of the boat and swim down one of the small rapids!!! I thought my hands were going to fall off they were so cold. The rapids were pretty calm to start with but they got a lot bigger and scarier. The worst part was when we were just about to go over the top of the rapid and you could just see a big drop and loads of white water. Also there's nothing holding you in so occasionally the guide would shout to hold on to these little ropes along the side of the boat. That was easier said than done when your hands are halfway to frostbite. The whole route took about 3 hours and was alot of fun, about halfway round we got given a snack for some energy and just before the end we had to swim out of the boat and climb up a rock then climb up a hill. The hill ended in a kind of mini cliff which was about 10 metres high and we were instructed to jump off! Everyone jumped really quickly one after the other so you didn't have much time to hesitate or think about how cold the water was, which was probably a good thing! When we got back to the hostel we were given homemade lasagne which really hit the spot and then we got to view the awful photos. I realised that I pull some really weird, very unattractive faces!
We were all absolutely exhausted and so slept most of the way on the long drive down to Wellington, although we did get off for a walk to a waterfall which had eroded its way through a pile of rocks leaving little holes all the way through, it was really beautiful and very interesting to see the power water can have.