Last weekend saw the Godwin family heading off on an outdoor adventure. As an immigrant to New Zealand Darryl had never achieved his desire of canoeing one of our national rivers. So, we packed our Silkbody Garments and Silksaks and headed off to canoe the Whanganui River in National Park on the North Island.
This river – mostly accessible only by boat – really was like stepping back in time on a trip through “middle earth”. We had no cellphone coverage for 3 days and nights, and with only the beautiful music of NZ songbirds and summer cicadas in the background we paddled our way from Maharanui to Pipiriki.
Day 1: Sporting my Longline Sleeveless Top, a ¾ Sleeve Scoop Top and ¾ Yoga Pants, and with Darryl in his Panelled Long Sleeve Cellular Top, Long Sleeve Crew Neck Top, and Puresilk Legliners under his shorts, we took to the water. As an early autumn morning, it was cold!! With low post-summer river levels, we were paddling quite hard and soon warmed up. By morning tea-time we both shed a layer, and I covered my now sleeveless arms in sunblock.
We had a fabulous day, and by the time we made camp we were sun-kissed and tired. Darryl pitched the tent, and we laid out our sleeping bags, complete with our 100% silk sleeping bag liners. Although we had only bedrolls for padding, we were in for a luxurious night’s sleep wearing our silk layers as pj’s and cocooned in our Silksaks.
Day 2: After an excellent sleep we were excited to get back onto the river. Having layered up again in our Silkbody essentials, we braced ourselves for the early morning chill and resumed our travels. Once again, we were discarding clothes by mid-morning, but having forgotten the sunblock on his knees the day before, this time Darryl kept his Puresilk Legliners on to protect himself from the hot NZ sun. He was relieved that, being 100% silk, he did not overheat, despite being fully covered.
Another long day that culminated in an overnight stay on a Marae. This cultural exchange was a particular treat for our 6 year-old who learns about Maori customs at school but does not often have the opportunity for first-hand experience. She loved creating a piece of artwork from the surrounding flora and fauna to give as her koha to the Marae leader.
Day 3: Well, of course, no canoeing trip is ever fully complete without a capsize! Despite our best efforts in the second to last rapid we tipped over and submerged ourselves in the river. Fortunately, we had water-tight drums for most of our gear, but Darryl and I were drenched. What a test for the amazing qualities of silk! We righted the canoe, clambered back in, and carried on paddling; whilst delighting in the fact that we could simply carry on. We stayed warm, and at our final destination only 45 minutes later we were gratified that our Silkbody layers had already completely dried out.
Exhausted from 3 hard days on the water but elated from the experience we enjoyed a final picnic at the river's edge before the drive back to Wellington and back to reality. As "new" owners of Silk Living, we were thrilled by our first-hand experience of Silkbody garments in the outdoors. A big thumbs up from the Godwin family!