I said a teary goodbye to Heather early this morning for my reverse journey over Takaka Hill, destination Greymouth. There was very little left of the cloud that covered the hills yesterday so again there were great views.
My few days in Golden Bay were very special and made me realise that going back into the past can be very worthwhile. Thank you, Heather, for looking after me so well-it was wonderful to relax in your home, reminisce with you and to do some laundry. You’re a great example of how to age with grace and vitality. I have remembered more than I ever thought I would about the time I spent in Pohara –and that’s still not very much.
Traffic was (predictably) light and I soon turned right for Murchison keeping the sun behind me, watching lush pastureland speed by. The Lonely Planet Guide led me to a good cup of coffee and muffin at the Rivers Cafe and another museum. This one, in the Old Post Office, was packed with memorabilia including a dental clinical and lots about earthquakes that seem to happen regularly.
Driving on through the Buller Gorge meant some great scenery but there’s wasn’t enough time to walk the bridge –maybe another year! I bought a cd in the Murchinson garage –my radio tuning attempts having failed and Mattie’s son in law’s cd of some great jazz being by now very familiar, fresh music was much needed. Not ordinarily my music choice –its music from the 40’s and 50’s so far … but at least its music and includes Now is the Hour so its appropriate.
The inland route south is crossed by lots of creeks with names that seem to tell the story of this part of NZ –Nuggety, Rosiestone, Handrail, Flatbed, Frying Pan, Doctors, Brandy Jack, Slab Hut, Orwell, Snowy River Dublin, Deadmans …. I stopped at Reefton for lunch and a walk around the town that was the first place in the country to have electric light. Then onwards to the coast only passing the occasional other car and yet more stunning landscapes.
I’m writing this at the Breaker’s B&B –aptly named for the seascape outside my window.
The sun has just set and the churning sea is only just visible as its rolls in and pounds the shore –so glad I have all of tomorrow to enjoy this coastline. Now I’m off to Greymouth for supper, Jan, my host here, recommends the seafood chowder at The Coal Face.