Monday, 4 March 2013
The ride from Ross to Greymouth was fantastic. I had a tail wind all the way and managed an average speed of 18kph for the ride. After a huge lunch at Hokitika I continued my ride up the coast across several bridges shared with the railway. At Greymouth I called on John and Clair west and their daughter Rachel. These are friends of Dale and Sandra's who they met in Brisbane in 1984. In the afternoon we went for a drive to Lake Kanerie and a walk through the 'bush'. They were kind enough to put me up for the night. I remember we had whitebait for supper, but instead of being small fish an inch or two long, these were a a mass of fish fry. Delicious.
Pancake Rocks and Cape Foulwind
Next up was a long ride up the rocky coast to Panakaiki. I walked out to the famous pancake rocks and also saw a blow-hole. The coastline continued in an up and down fashion until the road cut inland across the hills to Charleston. From here I took a lonely road to Cape Foulwind. I wasn't that bleak actually and I was amused by several Waka wandering about. This is a curious flightless bird. In Westport I stayed in a rather scruffy bunkhouse in the camp-site all by myself.
Up the Buller's Gorge
The next days ride took me up the spectacular Buller's Gorge where I bumped into Terry who shared the ride with me for some of the way. The day was sunny and bright and we enjoyed the sunshine all day. At one point we took a break and walked across the river on a rope-bridge. That night I camped next to a graveyard.
The following day I continued up the Buller's Gorge, but the weather became cloudy and the landscape lost its lushness. I found the terminus of an old railway line and spent an hour or so wandering along the disused track and wandered through s disused tunnel as well. That evening I camped in Nelson Lakes National Park and was immediately plagued by wasps. The evening was spoilt by a couple of young lads breaking windows in the Picnic House. I surreptitiously sneaked out to the Rangers Lodge and called the emergency number. About half-hour later the rangers came and arrested the lads, All this was a bit scary happening as it did in the middle of the night.
The Golden Downs to Nelson
The next ride took me over the Golden Downs to Nelson. This was a beautiful ride until I reached the main road where the traffic became quite heavy into town. In Nelson itself I put my bike in for a service - a place Vic had suggested - and spent the afternoon wandering around town. I stayed at a backpackers place.