Punakaiki pancake rock and cave.

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Punakaiki pancake rock

Punakaiki pancake rock

Pancake rock with quite a swell coming from the Tasman Sea

Pancake rock with quite a swell coming from the Tasman Sea

Taken from the Punakaiki beach hostal today.

Taken from the Punakaiki beach hostal today.

Sunset at Punakaiki

Sunset at Punakaiki

Who needs a fancy forecast when you have this!!

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’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!!

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2 responses »

  1. Do I detect a slight loss of direction “Today, I continued down along the coast to Westport.”? Anyway, there was an identical weather forecasting stone at Bugsworth, where you gave me back my boat. But it didn’t cater for earthquakes. Good luck over the hills.

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