Up early and a half hour Skyping the family got us up to date with the news and ready to move on.
Toady was a travelling day, leaving the vines behind and heading across country to a very different landscape. Our route took us alongside first of all the Wairau then the Buller emerging on the west coast, and then following it down to Greymouth. We had a mixed day as far as weather was concerned, some sun and cloud followed by overcast conditions and rain.
Our first stop off en route was St. Arnaud to view Lake Rotoiti, reminiscent of our own Lake District.Buller Gorge
West Coast 1
Arriving at the west coast our first sight of the sea and the coastal topography occurred a little south of Westport, (not a jig or reel to be heard). The next 100 kilometres were difficult to drive because of the number of occasions that a corner was turned and the view took one’s attention form the job in hand. For those familiar with the road along Big Sur in California you have a good idea of what this is like, artist’s dream. Our only disappointment was the quality of light, by the time we got there the cloud was well down and the rain about to start sprinkling. Consequently the shots here, not having been doctored, are a little lacklustre.West Coast 2
Our final stop was Punakaiki where the Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes are the attraction. A well-organised pathway takes the walker around the top of the cliffs that show dramatic stratification and erosion, another visual treat heightened by our first view of the penguins that populate this part of the world and the pod of dolphins working close in added an extra frisson to the stop.