Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Wednesday 13th February 2008 - Franz Joseph to St Arnaud (Nelson Lakes)

It being the 13th, things were bound not to go completely smoothly! We had a false start out of Franz Joseph, forgetting to fill up and losing our early start, then to be halted by road resealing and a further 10-minute wait! Later in the day, the silver bullet suffers a chipped windscreen (there's our $200 excess gone) and we take a wrong turning, although the dead end introduced us to the beauty of Lake Rotorua!

Anyway, for a day of driving, it was remarkably scenic. Coffee and banana cake was the only normal part of the Bushman Centre (which claims the largest sandfly in the world), which sells possum pie (yes, it really contains possum, a pest here) and all notices display a peculiar sense of humour!

This section was also memorable for its combined road and railway bridges. Two of these were encountered and as the same single track is used, it was a good thing there were no trains!

Today's picnic was enjoyed in the sun (it came out, especially for the occasion) overlooking Pancake rocks - layers of sandstone and mudstone that the sea has eroded, which form blowholes through which the sea emerges at speed. Despite the calm sea and half full tide, it was still pretty good.

A weka (bird the size of a chicken that kills rats but can't fly) teetered around the edge of the path here, diving for cover when heavy footsteps came past. We've also seen pukeko at the side of the road today.

The coastal scenery was excellent until around mid-afternoon, then our path turned inland, following the Buller river, with some single track road and more narrow bridges.

St Arnaud was a welcome destination around 5.30pm after 500km.

It is the gateway to Nelson Lakes, where John Manning's article from December 2006 TGO magazine has inspired us to visit. So, we'll spend tomorrow night in a hut, somewhere out there, weather permitting, as some 'weather' is due in.

2 comments:

Paul said...

Watch out for the wasps! Maybe it's a bit early for them yet? Mind you, a 7 day trek here cured me of my phobia...
Hope you manage to get up as far as Blue Lake Hut, or if you have less time, the Cupola Hut is beautifully situated (as is the Angelus Hut, but that's much bigger). Have fun!

Phreerunner said...

That's really weird - see next blog!!!