The car started first time which was a bit of a relief!
We collected more perishables from the local supermarket and made accommodation bookings for the next two nights and a dolphin encounter boat trip for Friday morning.
Ian had planned our day. We were to drive out to Collingwood at the top of Golden Bay, the most nothernly point of the South Island which is accessible by hire cars.
We drove around the edge of Abel Tasman National Park and paused only briefly for a shot or two as the sky was overcast and the mountains marred by mist and grey shadows. It was raining intermittently throughout our journey.
By lunchtime we had only just reached Pu Pu Springs which being the largest freshwater spring in the world demanded a visit. We couldn't see any of the dancing sands spring unfortunately but did marvel at the incredibly clear waters, apparently the clearest in the world next to the Antarctic.
We continued our journey to Collingwood where we found a suitable spot for our peppered salami sandwiches picnic and then returned through the mountain pass of Takaka. We didn't stop any more times on our way to Greymouth, only for fuel and one picture for me at Ahaura. The scenery of the drive was fantastic.
We arrived at Greymouth at 19:30 and found ourselves tucked in to an old hotel that has been renovated. It's a wonderful building and is surprisingly quiet. Our hostess advised us that the town cinema is showing Lord of the Rings The Two Towers at 1 minute past midnight. She also said that a local pub offers an 'all you can eat for NZD 3' barbecue. Basic but adequate.
Having settled in to the hostel we made for the cinema to check the prices. NZD 9 per adult. Pretty impressive! On enquiring within with regards to the midnight showing and relevant prices I was informed that it was showing and seats were available. The tickets would only be NZD 7!!! 'I'll have two then please!' I chirped. Satisfied with our latest purchase we marched off to the pub for our cheap nosh, which was basic but adequate, as sold.
We covered 537 kilometres today from Nelson to Greymouth. The humerous element of todays trip entailed me reaching a railway crossing to find the lights not flashing and the bells not ringing yet I knew the train was coming, I had just driven alongside it! I changed down a gear or two and quickly drove over the line. Just as I did so the lights started flashing and the bells started ringing...
Now for an hours kip in preparation for our late night viewing of Lord of the Rings The Two Towers which we will see before the rest of the world...
Copyright 2002 Helen Fuller. All rights reserved.