Punakaiki pancake rock
Pancake rock with quite a swell coming from the Tasman Sea
Taken from the Punakaiki beach hostal today.
Sunset at Punakaiki
Who needs a fancy forecast when you have this!!
I’m having to eat about twice as much as normal to get enough energy to get through New Zealand.
I was going to take a rest day timed with the rain, though it didn’t appear, so I continued on to the hostal at Punakaiki. It’s a small place, with no shops, which is a shame, as I had been reliably informed by a backpacker in Westport there was… I managed to get by with what I had though, along with some REALLY good home made bread from the hostal and some eggs I found for sale at someone’s house. I took 2 nights at Punakaiki to give my legs a bit of a rest. It was all rather strange though, as I was the only guest staying more than one night. The result was a totally different atmosphere on the second night compared to the first – just shows it’s the people that make a hostal. Being German run, the first night was entirely occupied by Germans the first night (with the exception of myself). The next day, I spotted Paul, a guy I had been chatting to a few weeks ago up in Taihape (?) who said he was planning on cycling the south island soon – and indeed he now is!! He’s planning on continuing down the west coast – glutton for punishment if you ask me! Every day I’ve been in NZ now, there have been south-westerly winds blowing up the coast. I’ve changed my plans to avoid the headwind. Anyhow, it was grand meeting up with Paul, and quite the coincidence.
Later that day, I caught up with a couple of folk from the hostal, Judith (? sorry if I got it wrong!) and Vanessa and went up to see Punakaiki’s main attraction at high tide – the pancake rocks, so called because the layers in them (every second one eroding away) gives the appearance of pancakes. There are also some pretty impressive blow holes – I found a clump of sea weed which had been thrown up at least 40m from the sea.
I’m not one for sunsets, nor taking pictures of them, though there really was a spectacular sunset, as you can see yourself. We also ventured into a cave, very sensibly letting people know where we were going, all of us taking torches. It was only 130m deep, though it had a few glow worms in there.
Today, I continued down along the coast to Westport. The road hugged the coast which was pretty rugged and windy, which gave different views round every corner. A quick stop for petrol and food, and I continued along to the Arnold Valley road where I had a, get this… TAILWIND!!! About time too…. I’m now at Lake Brunner , at a totally empty campsite, which is rather strange, given how busy everywhere else is, but I’m certainly not complaining…
Tomorrow is a big day – it’s 60km, almost all uphill to Arthur’s pass, and apparently the last 9km is ridiculously steep. Fingers crossed I’ve got the legs/gears for it as I don’t want to push for 9km!!