Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Two intrepid walkers - on a road trip #2

Hello there. Here we are back on the road again.
Make yourself a pot of tea, or coffee, put your feet up
and join Sis and me on the next part of our journey.

When I left you last we had had a break in Otira for lunch 
and now we are headed to the West Coast.
Once you cross over the mountain the landscape changes dramatically. The West Coast is a very narrow strip of land on the coast, bounded by mountains and the sea and we drive through ancient, beech forest to reach it. Rainforest. 

But today the sun is shining and as we drive north up the coast we are in our shirtsleeves. Definitely overdressed. Once we are over the Taramakau River bridge we are almost there. This is a road/rail bridge which throws some people, like my GKB when he first drove on it, but we grew up with it so no problems there. :)

We booked in at the camping ground and decided not to have a cuppa but to go and visit our aunty, who is still living in Greymouth, and have one with her. She was out. Oh well, we had other places to go in connection with our reunion next year. The hotel PR lady was next. She was away for the day! A restaurateur we wanted to speak to. He was finished for the day! We weren't having much luck. I  guess that is what happens when you do things on the spur of the moment. Let's try aunty again on the way back to the camping ground. Aah, finally, she was home and we had a nice visit - and finally too, a hot cup of tea.

We bought fish and chips for tea and ate them back at the camping ground and then decided to go for a walk on the beach. These are not sandy beaches and neither are they beaches I would swim in, the Tasman Sea is too rough and rugged for me. But they are enjoyable to walk on. Not that we went far as the wind was coming up, making it a bit cool and unpleasant. It's winter, remember.

The camping ground is at the beach, leave the grounds heading west, cross a narrow track/road and you're in the flax and grass that borders the beach. As we were heading back we saw a large bird run across the grass in front of us - then another one. A pair of wekas. Weka - also known as wood hen or Maori hen. They had no fear and posed for us before calling to each other and disappearing into the scrub again. But as luck would have it none of my photos turned out so this is a photo of a postcard with a Weka on it. The photo is taken by Dave Foster. We also saw these on the roadsides as we were travelling on the West Coast side.

Weka, by Dave Foster
With the wind getting up and darkness falling we decided to have showers and call it a night. It was 7:30pm! We read and chatted and planned a programme for the reunion, but mostly we read. I couldn't believe how tired I felt. Sometime in the early hours of the morning I woke up, then there was an almighty thunderclap. Sis reckons it was the lightening that woke me. With the thunder came the rain, and did it rain. The West Coast of the South Island gets torrential rain and I hadn't experienced it for a long time
 - welcome home :)

It was still raining when we left in the morning about 10:00am. We caught up with the people who had been away the day before and decided to have a cooked breakfast before we headed off. Above is the view out of the tearooms window as we ate.

And this is what it was like as we were leaving Kumara and heading back towards the mountains, with no let up as we headed into Otira where there was a beautiful rainbow. We drove right into it and I decided to enjoy the moment instead of trying to capture it.
Can you see though, how it is coming down between the mountains and therefore having nowhere to disappear to.

It was a long haul up the mountain behind two large trucks, I think our top speed was about 15 kpm and we kept waiting for the engine to cut out. Eventually we came to a short passing  bay but it was long enough for us and we made a run for it. Through the passes on the Canterbury side the sun was out and it was a pleasant trip through to Christchurch. Another overnight stay and then we headed back to Otago and the meeting I had to be home for that evening.

I hope you've enjoyed our road trip.
I'm joining Amy, and others, for
so why don't you pop over for a look as well.
By the way, don't ask me what mountain I crossed, I don't know to be honest, just that it is part of the Southern Alps . Growing up if we were going to Christchurch we were going  'over the hill'. We drove up the mountain, or took the railcar, and went through the passes but it has never occurred to me to find out which mountain we crossed. We knew the name of the passes, that sufficed. Maybe I should find out!


  1. Looks like a very enjoyable road trip. Great mountain view.

  2. I've loved going on this adventure with you! The Tasman Sea does look pretty rough. I love the ocean but I don't go in it much. I'm more of a walk along the sand person. I'm so glad you are able to do this with your sister.

  3. Beautiful and I love the rainbow in your last photo...smiles

  4. Well now I want to go and look at maps to see where you were Diana. I find geography very interesting and since I will probably never get there I have to travel by armchair. I am thankful for intrepid friends like you who take me along on their journeys.

    1. Oh and the Road Rail Bridge...does that mean the trains use it as well? I have never heard of that!

  5. Hello, sweet Diana! What a delight to go on your adventure with you through your photos :) I so enjoyed seeing and hearing about your trip.

    Thinking of you, dear one. Hugs!

  6. Still following along with you on your road trip. Love the picture of the deserted beach. That's the kind of beach that I like, not the sandy kind with tons of people. This one calls to me...

  7. Loving following along on your travels in a virtual way!! I will pop back again on Friday!

  8. Enjoyed being on the road with you.

  9. I enjoyed hearing about our adventures and travels! Thank you so much for sharing with us here. :)

  10. I enjoyed all your photos and commentary. It is a part of NZ I did not get to see when I travelled there long ago. Thank you too for your recent visit and kind comment on my blog :-)

  11. You certainly took us on an amazing trip, the rainbow was real delight to see.

  12. torrential rain and camping would be enough to put me off! but it did look like a good trip overall, lovely thing to do with your sister x

  13. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Camping is a great, frugal way to get around. Not to mention you can camp right on the sea/lakeshore. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a great weekend

  14. Always great to see the mountains. It seems to be raining everywhere at the moment. :-)

  15. Thank you for joining Five On Friday, hope you have a great weekend! xx

  16. Would love some of that rain. We're hot and muggy here. Take us along again soon. Loved joining you.

  17. I always enjoy a road trip when someone else is driving it's even better. Wonderful scenes. Have a great weekend!

  18. What a lovely trip. A great way to see another country. I love it when you get those moody misty clouds in the mountains. Have a good weekend. B x

  19. I'm glad I stopped by for fish and chips on the beach! I have never seen a Weka before!
    Wren x

  20. You are so amazingly adventurous!

  21. Recently I camped on the east side of Mt. Hood near Portland, Oregon, which I really enjoyed and I am delighted now to visit your blog thanks to Amy's Link Up and get some glimpses of your travels, too. I am nearly 7 years a widow after being blessed with 38 years of marriage and I am 65 years young :) Thanks for your Five on Friday post! xx

  22. I really enjoyed your photos and the info on your trip. Fish, Chips and hot tea sound like a delightful treat to me.

  23. Have just enjoyed travelling with you - and in the light of the thousands of miles apart - travelled via Cuppa Tea and Ginge nut bikkie in tremendous comfort. Lovely, lovely blog, awesome journey and yes, with you on the joys of spur of the moment organisation...lot of chefs taken off for the day, and receptionists in other places...still the harder the organising the better the "do". Now, second bikkie or not?????????????

  24. Hi Diana, Really enjoyed your photos and description of the road trip! Your blog is increasing my desire to visit New Zealand. It is definitely on my list! I'm also your newest follower! :-) Thank you for sharing and also for your kind comments on my blog!


please feel free to leave a comment, I love to hear from you