The Wild West Coast!

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Yesterday morning I was emailing our friends Mike and Marty Dows, whom we will meet on the North Island in a little over a week.  They also used the services of Aspire Down Under to plan their itinerary, and I told them that between stops there’s a lot to see and do, but the distances are so great you can’t always take advantage of the suggestions.

I STAND CORRECTED!!

So from Franz Josef (where they say they have a glacier) to Punakaiki, we headed up the Wild West coast.  First stop was Ross, an old gold mining town.  Gold was discovered in NZ around the same time as the US–1860’s.

We explored the town on foot, hiking up to the cemetery, which overlooks the Tasman Sea.  We noticed lots of Irish, Scottish, and English names, and most deaths occurred in peoples’ 30’s and 40’s.

A look in St Patrick’s Church, where they have mass two times a month, reminded us we were in a small town, not in France or Italy where churches and cathedrals are massive and ornate.

After our picnic lunch we continued on to Hokatika, where we were told was a greenstone factory.  Yep.  And in it I found my piece which had my name on it and now lives with me!  It’s a koru, which symbolizes a new fern shoot and means new beginnings, growth, harmony.  You’ll see it when you see me next!  In the meantime, here are photos of the factory and carvers themselves.  I love that the stone is quarried and carved locally.img_0282

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Loved the clock tower!(this one’s for you, Telma!!)

Continuing on up the west coast we passed through Greymouth.  Somehow the car just naturally stopped at Monteith’s, the home of the cider Don has been drinking.  Good stop for an afternoon repast!

Our destination for the day was Punakaiki, known for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.  Onward.

Really,even at low tide it was spectacular!

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Me leaning on pancakes!!

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But probably our best view and experience of the pancake rocks was right on our own beach at Punakaiki Resort.  After dinner we took a walk on the beach with our bottle of Surveyor Thomson pinot noir and enjoyed the rocks in a more natural environment.

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So I’m a day behind in blogging due to poor internet connections,but I’ll end by saying, “Guess what I ate for breakfast this morning at Pancake Rocks?”

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