Friday, January 9, 2009

Heaphy to Pancakes

The Road Does Not Go Ever On From Here, North of Karamea

Irimahuwhuero, Along the West Coast Between Westport and Greymouth

Pancakes and Blowholes

Tuesday morning we hiked a few miles of the Heaphy Track, which begins at the campground, up through the bush to Scott's Overlook and Scott's Beach. From that point, the Heaphy turns inland and proceeds more or less east the rest of its length, some 82km. No water taxis on this tramp. I can't imagine trying to land anything in the Tasman surf we have seen.

We are trying to walk a bit every day in preparation for our next tramp, the Milford, in two weeks, way down south, much more strenuous than the Abel Tasman. After the walk, we drove south, back to Westport, visiting the public library there and its free internet, and then still further south on route 6, which is sometimes along the largely uninhabited coast and sometimes in the also largely uninhabited inland bush. En route we stopped for the “Pancakes and Blowholes” site, a major attraction, giant fractured cliffs of thinly-layered limestone jutting out into the sea, wonderfully sculpted, and featuring enormous sink-hole-like affairs through which the crashing sea blows and spouts during high tide. We were there at low tide, so did not see the full effect. It was most impressive, nonetheless. At the DOC visitor center we found what has to be one of the better t-shirts of the trip, with the “not all who wander are lost” quote from Tolkien. Really ties things together, especially here in NZ.

We camped at the Top 10 in Greymouth, stopping early so Vicki could fabricate and install mosquito netting in the Bongo penthouse, where we sleep. I steamed mussels for dinner; again.

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