New Zealand

Murchison and the Pancakes

2/25 – 2/26/2017

     After a fairly simple two hour hike, our drive west out of Nelson Lakes National Park (New Zealand) didn’t last long. We stopped in the first town big enough to have a cafe/diner. After a big meal we started walking through the small town of Murchison, made it half a block and decided just to check the rate of the Main Street Hotel.  “Yup!” We moved the car, put together a bag and headed up for a much needed, well deserved, shower. We spent the afternoon and evening drinking beer and socializing at the bar across the street, feasting and watching TV. There was a big Haka competition going on that was being broadcast live. We enjoyed picking out our favorite teams with the best performance (in our non-expert eyes).

       After a fun night out, we were still as sore as sore could be. I know I’ve been more sore at some point in my life, but I can’t recall when. Most of the following day was spent driving and limping around sights that were only a short distance from the parking lot. The Truman Track was only a 15 minute nature walk off the road but led down to a really cool cove where the waves had carved out a big natural ampitheater. We took some time to climb on exposed rocks that the low tide exposed. The beach was made up mostly of small pebbles rather than sand and it felt good on my battered feet. 


       The next stop was to the Pancake Rocks, mmmm…. pancakes. The formation of these babies is still a geological mystery. There were several exposed cliffs and spires along the west coast where the rocks look like… you guessed it… pancakes. Unfortunately, we didn’t time it right and missed out on the blowhole displays but all we could think about was sitting back down, anyway, so we left and headed for our campground on the coast.

       We found a really great little campground. It had a nice hangout area, a pool, volleyball, badminton, washer and dryer and a clean but crowded kitchen. All that and you got to enjoy the sound of crashing waves as they lulled you to sleep. Those same crashing waves were waiting for me in the morning. I find it very hard to resist swimming in the ocean when it’s this close, despite warnings of bad currents. After a swim, a shower and  a load of laundry. We were feeling fresh for Arthur’s Pass.


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