West Coast

Trip Start Feb 16, 2005
Trip End Jan 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, September 12, 2005

We left Westport to start heading down the very scenic west coast. During the entire drive, you are heading down the coast line of the Tasman Sea with the Southern Alps directly on your left. The first stop was an ocean overlook and a seal colony. We then headed down toward the Pancake Rocks. Thin rocks that are formed by the violent waves. The coast is an interesting geographical spot. With the Alps only miles off the beach, a very moist rain forest runs straight up to the mountains. Interesting wildlife inhibits the entire area, including the yellow-eyed penguin. These penguins come in from the sea and climb up into the rain forest to mate. To do so, they have to cross the main highway. There are sign posts of penguin crossings along the highway and I got to see two penguin road kills. Who else can say that?
We spent the night in the middle of no-where. A small place called Manipuie. There is a hostel there that the buses have been stopping at for 12 years. It is tradition to have a costume party here, and in the tradition, the guys dress as cross-dressers. To say the least, it added interest into a stop that was not exciting and everybody got acquainted quickly.
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