|Arthurs Pass 22nd – 25th March Blog 156
As most of you are aware by the dates of the blogs we are way behind so as an experiment we are going to try to condense a few. Please feel free to comment both good and bad and we will know whether to continue this way or not.
Returning from Karamea we stay with Bill and Leitu on their farm/backpackers for a day it is a jovial time as the two campervans we followed turn out to old friends popped in out of the blue and we all get along well. We get our dog fix by walking Sheba Bills dog and playing with Pepper their new puppy. Its a great place to stay and Bill and Leitu are wonderful and interesting hosts. We have a set time to be away next day as the bridge is being repaired on the only road in and we can’t miss it’s opening slot.
Our only stop on the route back is to Denniston Incline an old coal mining town way up on the hill which was still in use up to 1967. Its most interesting feature is the massive incline which was used to lower coal in wagons to the waiting trains below. The full carts inertia was used to drag the empities back up, its an amazing feat of engineering.
On our way to Pancake rocks we stop at Trumans walk which is a little gem. A short walk through the bush emerging at the beach edge with stunnning vistas but also after a couple steps down to the beach we find ourselves in incredible vast overhanging rock caves sculpted by the waves..
Pancake rocks further down the coast does not disapoint. An apt name for the rounded slab like stacks and the extra bonus is that we get to see two rare hectors dolphins swimming off shore my first of the trip.
We are trying to get back to Christchurch to collect our roof before we encounter any wet weather and so push on to Greymouth it is here we have the pleasure of meeting Coleen and Jack who on finding out we are in a rush to get to Christchurch insist on rustling up dinner in their caravan for us so we can camp on Arthur’s pass tonight. It is a cold night as we are on the top of the pass but we are snug in our sleeping bags. Arthur’s pass is a delight to ride through and before long we find ourselves back with Barry in Christchurch. We have a quick catch up and collect our roof, the city seems more fragile than when we left. The road we took to the supermarket now a slalom course where it has buckled and broken so much. We head out of town on the inland scenic route towards the Malvern hills and Central Otago, we end up camping at Rakaia gorge mainly because we stopped at the bridge to look at the colour of the water aqua turquoise blue caused by the ground up ‘rockflour’ in the glacial water..