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THE Coast

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not just any coast, but THE coast. In New Zealand if people go to the West Coast, it's called THE coast. Even though the country is a small island where getting to a coastline is barely more than a hour or two drive, if you're going to THE coast, everyone know's where you'll be.

Regarded as an exceptionally wet place of rugged beauty, we made our way to Westport and had fush & chups. As we were walking around the town we found the West Coast Brewing Company, who just happened to have tastings. But this was like no tasting we've ever done before. I thought that the tasting at Hook Norton Brewery was comprehensive, but this one was even more so. We would taste every one of the 13, count 'em, 13 different beers that they brewed (including a 10% barley 'wine') at no less than glass of each. All in all, we would consume the equivalent of a 6 pack during this tasting. 3 hours of laughing and tasting with the staff did a good job of eating up an afternoon. We were having so much fun, the staff forgot I was only sampling and filled my glass to the top and threw in an extra tasting of the barley wine. What a job, sit around and drink with people all day long...

We then stumbled down to Cape Foul Wind (yeah, really) where we watched the continuing theme of our little camping trip together:  seals!

Lindsay had wisely booked us some accommodation in Wesport as she knew that you DON'T go camping on THE coast. Sure enough, that night the rain poured and poured, and the whole of the next day too.  Despite that, we just HAD to visit the pancake rocks of Punakaiki.  These were really interesting layered rock formations with a few blowholes in them. It was only low tide, but the sea was so rough from the storm that there was a bit of spray going through the hole.  Brian missed his rainjacket, so he got to wear one of our lovely 5 ringet ponchos from Malaysia and looked dead sexy too!

The cloud was so low it was almost sitting on the ground. The sea and sky were a constant shade of grey. The only way to tell the sea was from the angry crashing waves. All the gutters in the streets were flowing and the paddocks (shaped so that they can keep the water in low-lying trophs) were full. While we were driving, new waterfalls sprung up and cascaded down the hillsides disappearing into the ditches or newly formed rivers scurrying to meet the sea.

Then we rose up through the mountains to Arthur's pass where the sun attempted to break through, and back down to Cust where our long weekend was over far too quickly.

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