Many a discussion had been made on floating down the Fiu river on a tyre and finally today was the day. After being assured by our contact the night before that the truck inner tyres required would be ready at the local work yard the next morning, we arrived to find . . . surprise, surprise, they weren’t. In fact there was only one truck tyre, the other three were hylux tyres plus a car tyre and all needed repairs and pumping up.
2 hours later, a bit despondent we assembled at the starting point. The truck tyre had become flat during the 15 min ride to the river so that left Kelly, Steve & Rob with the hylux and Lara with the car tyre. John & Dave well prepared, both had their truck tyres.
The first part of the journey was spent experimenting with positioning in the tyres and how to manoeuvre them in the current while attempting to avoid the rocks and branches. There is only one way to ride the car tyre – on your tummy like a boggie board, knees and legs up to avoid the rocks! Two of us (guess who!) became rather chilly. I was able to scavenge a thermal top and gloves off Dave and Rob ½ way. The rest found the temperature rather pleasant.
The peaceful tranquillity was often shattered by John’s rendition of “That’s why I tell you . . . you’d better be home soon” (Crowded House) The water was so clear you could see the crocs coming a mile away!
Despite sore and hungry bodies, the 4 hours & 20 mins was totally worth it. Although an increase in water flow would have created additional delight. Unfortunately due to the isolation of the river route we fear we have inadvertently caused many a pikinini to have nightmares of whiteman floating down the river!!!! One wee fella was so terrified of the 6 whitemen he sat frozen in his tree petrified crying!