Richmond - Westport.

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Jul 23, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , West Coast,
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We woke up early again, but this time due to other people on the campsite making a noise. We managed to get back to sleep, eventually getting up around 08:00.

I put away the bedding and made breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, muesli, yoghurt and coffee, while Terry went over to the mens block to shower and shave. After breakfast, Terry booked the campsite for tonight online and continued with the Australia research while I packed everything away. By 10:00 we were ready to leave as I had done everything.

Once on the road we headed South West toward Westport, our next destination. We stopped on the roadside in Wakefield at a notice advertising fresh grape juice, and decided to make enquiries. We turned off the road and drove up a gravel track, until we came to a little shed with bottles of juice in it and a money box. We left $5 in the money box and took a bottle of the juice for later. On the way back down to the road we admired the fields of bright green grape vines laden with bunches of almost black grapes.

We continued driving West admiring the ever changing scenery as we drove. We stopped at 'Hope Saddle Lookout' for a comfort break and a coffee. The landscape overlooking Clark Knob Mountain ( suppress a giggle), was spectacular and worthy of a photo or two.

Further on we stopped at a little town called Murchison, primarily to find a cafe with Wifi, so that we could check our emails. Terry had been emailing several motorhome hire agents in Australia to find out which one could offer the best deal. Unfortunately, only one cafe in the 'town' had Wifi and wanted to charge us $5 for the pleasure of using it, so we just had two 'flat whites' (that's a white coffee to you and me) and ditched the Wifi idea. We did however take a book from the cafe - you were supposed to offer an exchange but as Terry explained that we didn't have any books, the assistant told him to just take it.

About half an hours drive further West we came across the Buller Gorge Swingbridge; the longest swing bridge in New Zealand. We paid $5 each to go over the swingbridge and also to take a walk over the other side. The swingbridge was quite something, every step we took made it move and when other people were on it, it bounced. The drop underneath was quite deep; rapids and rocks. Both of us thought we wouldn't fancy being on it in bad weather.

Once over the other side we ventured off of the walk we were supposed to be on, and clambered down to the river. Bending down to pick up pebbles by the side of the river, I noticed something glistening. On further inspection, I noticed lots of the same in the same area, so I picked the pieces up before the water took them away - as this was gold panning area I just might have struck gold. Terry was climbing over the huge rocks taking photographs.
When back on track and walking back toward the swingbridge, Terry stopped suddenly as he had spotted a funny looking rotund brown bird rooting about under a bush. A notice further down the path informed us that it would have been a Weka, hardly seen anywhere else in New Zealand but prevalent in the immediate are. We felt quite honoured to have spotted it.

We drove to a scenic reserve and made up some lunch and a hot drink in Elvis. It was wonderful to sit in such a peaceful environment, surrounded by tall pine forests and heavy clouds. After lunch we drove back down on to the road toward Westport. The sun was setting as we drove and the clouds lifted and all of a sudden, we could see blue skies. Terry marvelled at the wonderful scenery around every corner and was jumping in and out of Elvis with his camera all the way to Westport.

We arrived in Westport around 18:00 and followed the signs to the campsite. We hadn't bothered to input the whole campsite address into Tom Tom as thought it would be obvious - WRONG. We drove into the wrong campsite. Lucky we realised our mistake before getting out and demanding either a pitch or refund, so we just drove out. We, or Tom Tom did eventually get us to our destination, via Foulwind Street ( suppress another giggle).

Once we had checked in we went to a nearby restaurant, Donaldo's, for dinner. This little restaurant/ takeaway /bar, was the only one in the nearby vicinity and less than a mile from the campsite. It was too cold to walk, so we took Elvis. Of the ten or so people in Donaldo's, we were the only ones ordering food and the restaurant was empty. Terry ordered a burger and chips and I ordered soup and we both had a glass of the local brew - the food was simple but nice. At around 20:00 we returned to the campsite to set up Elvis for the night. Just as we had got settled, I realised I had left my bag in the cafe, so we had to quickly undo everything we had just done to go back to the restaurant. Considering at least 30 minutes had lapsed from the time we had left the restaurant, lucky for me, my bag was in exactly the same place that I had left it. Our dinner plates and glasses were also still in the same place we had left them and not cleared away - this place was seriously laid back!
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Richard & Sharon on

We are loving your blog you look as though you are having a great time.The photos today are stunning.
Take care.

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