Sunday, February 22, 2009

Punakaiki, New Zealand

27th - 28th Jan

I had promised both Sam and Brecht that I would try to see them again so after I filled up my running on fumes car in Westport I drove down the West coast to Punakaiki. I booked myself into the Te Nikau Hostel which was about ½ mile away from the Volunteer house.

Once I had booked into the hostel I called into the volunteer centre to say hi to Brecht and the new volunteers who all turned out to be Korean. I found out that Sam was actually staying in the same hostel as me as he his girlfriend had come to visit. When I went back to the hostel I bumped in to them making their tea.

As the pub was too far away to walk to and stagger back I decided that after I had my own food (some tin of something with microwavable rice) that I would return to the Truman trail which was were I got the good sunsets the previous time I was there.

The sunset was not as good as the previous time but its still a great place to go last thing at night. The weather was far worse this time which meant that I managed to slip on my arse on some wet rocks.


Slippy rocks - with the indent of my bum!

After the sunset I went back to the hostel to have an early night. Te Nikau is not really a hostel but a set of lodges set into native woodland . Each lodge was self contained with kitchen and bathroom. My lodge was about 50m from the main reception and slept 7 people. The good thing about the lodge was that there was no bunks. The bad thing was that that my bed and two others were all set end to end. This wasn’t really bad for me but was potentially lethal for the Swedish girl who was in the next bed. Why was it lethal – well let’s be honest 6 months travelling has not been kind to my feet - which stink. This is not normally a problem to me as my nose is at least 5 feet away from them. Unfortunately this girl would not have that luxury!

So before I went to bed I resolved to get my feet as clean as possible so I spent some time in the bathroom washing my feet in the sink - yes the sink! I know what your thinking – why did he not just have a shower. Trust me when I say that my feet needed special attention that a simple shower could not handle! I hope that Swede realises the antics I went through to make sure she had a smell free night. I probably kept her awake anyway with my snoring.

The next day I met up with Sam and the volunteers who were – guess what - gorse bashing. What they were doing was clearing a path so the DOC people could get Quad bikes into the midst of the gorse to finish them off with sprays. We also tried to make a path through to the beach through some really thick gorse but ended up giving up before lunch. I said my final farewells to the lads and then headed off on another long journey to Franz Joseph Glacier.

Gorge near Punakaiki

People I have seen/met:
On the way back from the sunset beach I seen this idjit who, having crossed the barriers was taking pictures on other slippery rocks close to the edge of the cliff. Myself and a number of other people stood and stared in disbelieve (Actually what we were doing was waiting for a freak wave to come and wash him away!) Luckily (or unfortunately depending on how evil you are) for him it never happened

Idiot photo taker - sorry for the shaky photo it was very dark and I wasn’t going anywhere near any cliff edge!

Things I have learnt:
Never leave your food on the ground for even a minute when there are wekas about, I was transferring my food from the lodge to the car and set it down on the ground to go and get more stuff. When I got back a weka was busy rummaging through my food! The crafty wee bird!

Facebook pics

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