The Road Lees Travelled

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Pension B&B Verdure Tateyama
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Greymouth by name, grey and morbid by nature. Here the River Grey meets the Tasman sea. So dreary is this town that all there is to do is visit the library for free internet access and stare at the scary sea from inside Mr T. The dismal weather didn't help this little
town's image either. Yet we stayed for 4 nights...

Kudos to Global Village backpackers! It was love at first browse. We didn't even bother comparison shopping. Here we could chill for a few days, enjoy home comforts, and weather the weather. Global Village offered a cosy lounge with a fire lit by friendly staff everyday at 5pm, free bikes and kayaks, cheap spa and sauna, a decent book exchange, a piano and guitar,  and board games including life-size backgammon! (btw the current score is 54-52 in Dee's favour).

We weren't the only ones who became part of the furniture. Many took advantage of the 4 nights for 3 winter special - ze cake-baking Germans, bread-baking Belgians, Swedish and English teeny boppers, plus a hardcore female cyclist who travelled all the way from

Inspired by my fellow backpackers I was up at 7am (well, first to answer nature's call) to whip up some muffins on our last morning. Yes, the well-equipped kitchen even has muffin trays. As the apple-cinnamon aroma wafted through the place it was funny to see each
person drool as they caught their first whiff. I'm sure they would have sold like hot cakes!

Now if we were Lonely Planet or BBH (Backpacker, Budget, Hostel) followers we would have known that GV has a 96% rating, the highest in its category. Lovely Lady Laura of London donated her Rough Guide that is great for an overview of each town's highlights, especially useful if you have a fixed timeframe. We also use it as a (rough) price guide
by adding about 20% to the 2007 prices.

So I guess being a follower has its benefits. But it also means knocking the last wind out of that well-beaten, commercialised track. Seeing the same faces at the same places. We much prefer veering on and off that path at will, acquiring real-time tips from random
travellers and sometimes "discovering" places like the true explorers that we are. 

We like to think of it as "The Road Lees Travelled". Hey, that sounds like a book title! Remember you heard it here first.
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