Wet and Grey All the Way to Wetlands Greymouth
Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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The route was not completely flat as we’d been promised, but we still made good progress and reached Pukipuri at 15 miles in good time. Pukipuri, permanent population 2, had a café mentioned in the guide book as a hilarious stop. They were right, the dark and dingy place was stuffed with dead animal furs, mostly possums and served up lovely delicacies like road-kill pizza
We raced through another 15 miles to Ross, home of the largest gold nugget ever to be found in NZ. The shop keeper who sold us fortifying crisps and cokes thought we were nuts to be on the bikes and as the rain just then got seriously heavy, we kind of agreed. It was a cold and extremely wet next 15 mile leg to Hokitika, and the only point of interest was when we met another cyclist. He turned out to live in Harihari, where we’d been this morning and had got a part-time job in Hokitika. He was therefore undertaking a 44 mile one-way commute to work!! He said sometimes he stays the night, but not always! That really is hardcore. We left him to it, as he seemed pretty tired (and west coast weird) and kept racing on.
On arrival we found that Hokitika was actually the largest town we’ve seen since Wanaka. Soaked to the skin we headed straight into a café to have a hot sandwich before the last 25 miles to Greymouth as making a picnic in a bus stop seemed like an extremely bad idea
By the time we finished lunch, the sun had reappeared due to a strong wind blowing the clouds away. Unfortunately this wind was also then blowing in our faces making for a tough and grumpy next 12 miles. After some of Pam’s shortbread (not sure who Pam is but all her products are cheap and tasty) we hit the road for the final 13 miles. The wind had changed direction a bit meaning we made it by 5pm, only 6 ˝ hrs to do 69 miles, not too bad considering lots of stops.
The Top 10 Campsite is right on the beach, has fantastic facilities and we’ve found a very sheltered spot for the tent, so hopefully will be ok for tonight. The serious down point of this campsite is that shortly after our shower we found they had a school party staying. Aaaagggghh! The place is overrun with over-excited, noisy teenagers who cannot stop talking drivel to each other. Mikey seems to manage to remain calm in their presence but I find them unbearable. Luckily their poor teachers have just taken them off somewhere, hopefully for a long time!
Miles cycled: 69 soaking wet and windy miles