Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Do They Eat When They Can't Get Hobbit?

Across the pass and into the west side of the island, we drove on to Westport and then north on the coast road, 67, as far as it goes, past Karamea to the campground on the beach at Kohaihai. En route we spent the afternoon exploring the truly pristine forest at Operara, including what has to be one of the world's largest natural arches...hundreds of feet high and across. The bush-—these few square miles never logged—-was the main attraction, and we took a long hike back through it, marveling at the giant trees, the creeks, pools, falls, and the rest. It is indeed like another world.

The evening, after a grilled steak dinner, we spent on the beach, watching huge breakers, 8-10 feet, and waiting for the sun to set over the Tasman Sea. There were two or three other parties on the beach, as far as one could see. The surf was enormous and crashing and not at all inviting.

Today was also our first experience of the west side's legendary sand flies. Whatever curiosity we might have had about them was quickly satisfied. They are indeed Satan's spawn. We are bathing in
Tasman Sunset, North of Karamea
In Operara bush


Very large arch, Operara

But maybe the above arch was only the second level; it rested
on a larger arch through which passed this creek...

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