Trip Start Jun 11, 2007
94Trip End Ongoing
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We packed up and found a walking track that we had seen in a leaflet and thought we'd do, however, the place was down another long gravel road and it was deserted. The beginning of the track was slightly overgrown and this put us off as it looked like it wasn't a popular walk and Robert was worried about leaving the car there, so we drove off. I think it was just an excuse so that he didn't have to do the walk! We drove over O'Sullivans Bridge, over the Buller River and stopped to take photos, just passed this was a small but well laid out walk around the Upper Buller Gorge. The main loop only takes about 15 min, but to get to the start of the walk you had to cross the river by suspension bridge. It was $5 each and I cried the whole way across. I really don't like suspension bridges, even though this was wasn't that high. When we got to the end I had a good old weep with relief that I'd got across, Robert not tactfully said I had to go back that way! I got mad and stormed off. When Robert caught up with me a bee chased and stung him, so then he got mad too! What a day! Fortunately he's not allergic to bee stings, but he took an antihistamine just in case. We didn't stay there long and I managed to get back over the bridge ok as I was more concerned about Roberts sting. We went back over the same road and the bridge but then turned right and headed to Springs Junction. It was a very pleasant drive and we stopped for a coffee and a Cornish pasty at a little café at Maruia, on the way.
We found Chris's house easily enough and it's in the most beautiful, rural spot in the Victoria Conservation Park. The house looked lovely from the outside too. When we pulled up, Chris's car was there but there was no sign of the man himself. We yelled hello! Soon he walked up the drive and asked "can I help you". We said who we were and that he'd invited us to stay a couple days. He'd thought we were coming on the 10th and hadn't gotten anything ready for us! We said not to worry and that we'd just go onto Westport instead. We had a brew with him before heading off again.
We drove west on SH 7 and paused at Reefton, they had a campsite there but Robert preferred to stay at the top 10 at Westport so we went there. On the way we took SH 69 then SH6. SH6 ran alongside the Buller River and was a lovely drive. There was a place on the way called Hawk's Crag and further along Little Hawke's Crag that is where miners blasted into the rock face to build the road, however it was done in such a way that it left an overhang of rock. The first one is like a tunnel but with the right hand side wall missing, cool!
We arrived in Westport and decided to stay there for two nights so that we wouldn't have to de-camp the next morning. We had bought loads of mince and had loads of veg so that we could make two nights meals for us and Chris, so I froze half of it and made a Spag Bol for tea. We then watched some crap on the TV before going to bed.
We had a lovely lie in this morning then just sunbathed next to the tent until lunch-time. It was the first time we'd just laid in the sun for ages. At lunch time it was getting too hot to sit out in, so we moved into the dining/ internet room. Robert did some surfing and I did some blogging. We then decided to get some fresh air and walked over to the beach it was good for walking on as it was all firm sand. Robert had a bean ball and we began throwing it to each other, which turned into a game where we stood a ways apart and drew a circle on the ground in front of us. We had to try to throw the ball to land in each others circle. When we got it we stepped back and drew another circle behind it, so you had to throw further. It was great, especially as I was winning. We played until Robert caught up with me. Whilst we'd been jumping around playing catch, Roberts mobile had fallen out of his pocket. He didn't notice until a girl found it further up from where we were now playing and came over to see if it was ours, he was so lucky to get it back! Back at the tent Robert had a kip and I laid in the sun reading.
At 7pm we drove into Westport town and had a walk around until 7.45pm when we went to the movies. The cinema here is in an old hall and has very worn narrow seats, we saw Death at a Funeral, a British film and it was very cringingly funny.
We had some left over Spag Bol with bread for dinner when we got back, then turned in.