22nd September 2012
As the wind blew the cobwebs of the remnants of my morning sleep at Cape Foulwind, I rubbed my eyes at this view. Check it out.
After a great night in Westport with the local rugby team giving great banter, we were on the move again early in the morning to journey down the spectacular State Highway 6 stretching 435 kilometres along the Tasman Shoreline and passing through farmlands, ghost towns, goldfields, daunting rainforests and especially our first good views of the snow capped Southern Alps.
Our first stop was Cape Foulwind, it’s where there is meant to be one of New Zealand’s largest seal colonies. I didn’t see any. Damnation! But I should remember that on this west coast, it is accepted as a belief that the improbable is common. It is also said that the west coast is the place where nothing is too outrageous to have occurred…this would be true on so many levels later on tonight…
Also on Cape Foulwind, you are on New Zealand’s closest point to Australia. I strained my eyes to see Australia in the distance… No chance. You ain’t gonna see it and that is how many Kiwis would like to see that way. Kiwis are known to dislike Ozzies. I should know, I keep getting verbally abused…all because somehow I look Australian. They live to throw a wobbly over here. (to have a fit of temper or high emotion).
After a long scenic drive, we stopped off at Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, which are a series of stratified limestone stacks that ver many thousands of years, have been eroded to resemble giant piles of stacked pancakes.
Also, there a plenty of blowholes there and seeing the action at high tide definitely gave it a thrill especially when I observed from my rock carved chair.
After a good spot of lunch at the local cafe…anyone guess what I had? Good man, it’s pancakes! Yumminess!
The next stop was Greymouth as we were told what would be happening that night…a fancy dress party! The theme is something beginning with P party. Or more commonly known…the Poo Party. Ever since someone dressed up as a poo at this theme, the name of the party stuck and thus the poo party was named. So in Greymouth there is a massive warehouse store that you can find plenty of materials to make your costume with.
Leaving Greymouth later, carrying far too many materials, we arrived at Lake Mahinapua Hotel where we would be spending the night and also having this poo party. It’s literally in the middle of nowhere and I could totally understand why Kiwi Experience chose to make a stop there when the owner of the Hotel climbed onboard to greet us… Les Lisle who is without a doubt one of the funniest people I’ve met on this trip. He’s 86! Very clued and wise about young people’s activities, be gave a fantastic running commentary about previous stays from Kiwi Experience. You have to meet this guy!
After getting settled in, Henning and I took the 2 min walk to the beach just before sunset to check out the Lake and of course, I am going to take a jump into the water! But as we cleared the rainforest walk, I was utterly amazed at the view before me. The lake was so still and you could see reflections of everything in the water…even clouds! Check out the pics!
Walking the pier, I manned up and dove in to stay in the water for about…maybe 3 minutes. The water is so glacial and so cold that many parts of my body stung and ached like mad! Drying off like mad and piling on layers, we walked back to the Hotel but as I glanced back, I somehow knew that I would be back here again at some point in my life. It really has to be one of the most beautiful views I’ve seen.
Getting back, we devoured a scrumptious group steak meal cooked by Uncle Les in which his staff kept giving us more and more…and more…and more food. I had to refuse in the end. There’s only so many meat and potatoes I can take!
So in the end, we have the Poo Party. Many people came in absolutely cracking costumes. We had pirates plastic surgeons, pilots, parties, pack of cards, puppets, paddling pools, parrots, etc. there were quite a few bad taste and rude ones as well but I think I just about blurred the line with some degree of devious ingenuity and cheekiness but going as a ‘Party in My Pants!’ Unfortunately, I didn’t win the best dressed prize as I came a very narrow second. Damn! But as you can see, I didn’t care here are the photos of the night 🙂