Well what is it between me and the weather.. in the most fantastic location in The Old Slaughter house in Hector and it lashes out of the heavens all night and this morning. Not being able to see your hand in front of face in one of the best locations ever is not good. Added to the fact that if you were paying attention to the last rambling, that I had to hike up the hill to the hostel there has to be a down side... I had to walk down the ruddy hill in this rain and fog. I had of course left my shoes in the car and the only footwear was a pair of flipflops. When you add this struggle with your food and overnight bag and throw into the recipe for good measure a long evening chatting with the German couple Catherine & whoever! (I can never remember his name and he is in the new hostel tonight as well so I keep saying "hiya boy"!) There was also Cedreric from Switzerland. We finished the wine.. Cederic and I.. well you cant leave a small drop and anyhow I would have to cart it down to the car. Went to bed at 00.30 to the sound of crashing waves and rain lashing off the corrogated iron roofs. Slipped up the steps outside to the bedroom cabin and then of course because of the wine had to take a trip down again to the loo. Note to self.. as well as the ears I will have to get the waterworks checked out on my return too. Work early to the sound of the rain bucketing down again so I went for an early breakfast. Met with David the kiwi owner and definately have met my my NZ equivalent re crank of the year. He also bitches to the local council regularly and is the bane of their lives.. we were definately separated at birth but had a great laugh at comparing notes. He discussed the house and the things that also happened to him when he was constructing it 15 years ago. Apparently the area can get about 4 inches of water in 2 hour downpour so one night after such an event, half the hill decided to give way and destroy the house at the lower level and wash all the new house building materials out to to sea so that someone in the Antarctic now has a cosy wooden palace. He lost everything inthe flood and nearly bought the farm himself. He was trying to get out and the quadbike turned on him and he was up to his eyes in water literally. Anyhow as he said he got loads of help and his son ensured that he got up off his backside and start again. I for one am delighted he did so as he has one of the most uniques places that I have ever stayed in. There was a huge procrastination re moving out this morning and I just said go for it now and be done with it. I left with David giving me a huge bear hug and sending me on my way. It was madness really.. I slid my way down the bloody path and kept falling out of the flaming flip flops. Can I tell you there is no such thing as decorum as sliding, falling swearing and sloshing your way down an decline of 45 degrees and falling out of the dangerous footwear. I was thinking there were all having a laugh looking out over the verandah at me so I kept stum and my dignity........ well anyway until I was just out of sight and earshot.
By the time I had got through Westport, the day had improved dramatically and the sun shone beautifully. I was delighted as I was going to do the Ocean Drive to Punakaiki Pancake Beach and the fantastic rock formations. SOmthing like the the Giants Causeway at home is definately memorable but my only gripe is that there were too many tourists.The Tasman sea is amazing and each bay and beach looks like a surfers paradise. Some of the places you pass on the way include.. Foulwind and Woodpeckers bays.. some one was def having a laugh naming some places here. Still though I am finding increasing difficult to remember some of the bloody place names.
Got to Greymouth by 14.00 to pick Andrew my "1st cousin once removed" who is going to keep me company and an eye on me for a few days till we get further south. He is looking fantastic and in great form from his hiking, walking and time in Oceania so far. I have been yapping since I met him so I think that the time that he will spend with me will be his penance for the next year! Got our shopping for dinner and another 3 litres of vino and headed off to Hokitika to our hostel called the Birdsong..hmmmm I wont comment on this name... I am in Fantail room.. yikes. and the decor leaves a lot to be desired. Picture this if you will... A huge mural of 2 fantail birds (brown) nesting on an orange wall.(huge eyed birdies that keep starin at ya no matter what part of the room you are in.) Add to that the wine coloured curtains and the floral blue bedspread and maybe this is why my head is beginning to ache.Thank you Lord I am not in Andrews Puketa themed room!. Just inside where the lightswitch should be in my room some bright spark decided to put the fire alarm break glass thingy there instead. Now you add one tired driver who has had a skinful trying to get themselves to their leaba late at night could result in 30 people careering through your room out the door to the road outside.. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that there was a door to the outside from Fantail room which was the main FIRE EXIT !.
Andrew and myself went off to have a look at the Hokitika Gorge ( very nice and very few tourists ..horray and again got savaged by the sandflies and then back for the long walk up the beach opposite the hostel. Got a few pics of guys out rugby training on the sand..huge guys and now have no surprise as to why the Kiwis are so good at the game. Delicious meal of NZ lamb and now writing this up. Now to a game of Trivial Persuits and the competitivness that ensues.. Andrew and Alice watch out!!
By the way we were having a dicussion re rude nationalities....I have a list and will let you know with my reasons why over the next few blogs! Watch this space but all I can say is that I will not be popular in several countries in the world..... or maybe several continents!!