Friday, January 24, 2014

Austrian visitors go into our bush and find a spot for a river baptism

Friday, January 24, 2014
oldbearnews editor
The day dawned nice and moody - was wondering what we are in for after yesterdays rain and drizzle - overnight rain.  In any case - it dawned.  We decided to go up to Punakaki of Pancake rock fame and see what one can see then head up the river track for a stroll through the wilderness.
The track itself - wait - I am getting ahead of myself.
First stop was - well the roundabout where - as you know you can go round and round only three times because then another person wants to have a go of this fun activity.  From there it was on towards Greymouth - thinking that we would find a KB's that we know does vegan sandwiches. On the way you cross this rail/road bridge - newly renovated.  it is a old clanger - but very useful.  I do have a friend from the UK who sat by the side of the road and watched in fascination for about 10 minutes or so as - what he considered - totally mad idiots, driving through and over this contraption.  Truth is - while a historic bridge - there are almost no trains going over, and the only idiots you have to watch out for are the ones that can't read give way signs.  Only in NZ!!!
Eventually made it into Greymouth - no KB's anywhere.  So after going through the 2 main streets - we stopped in a place and asked one shop owner - who kinda shruged and said - urm - maybe that there or so.  The place next to it looked more promising - it was a combo of souvenirs and second hand store.  The chap in there was really nice - almost typical west-coaster - he pointed us to the right cafe.  Once we found that we all got what we wanted - including the vegan who had hers especially made.  Lunch sorted - on towards the pancakes.  On the way we stopped at one location - while the rest of the pictures was taken from rolling vehicle.  I have to say they are getting good at pointing the camera out of the window!!! There are often not many suitable stopping places and so yea - images from moving cars are just as good. When we got to Punakaki - the tide was out - but it was a georgeous day - the clouds lifting and getting warm.  Reinhold checking in with DOC to establish track conditions for Prorari river track :)  all good.  While there spotting more badges - hmmmm this is getting good - and expensive.
In any case the Pancake rocks are as always a great site to see - the only downer a lack of water action.  There are several Blow-holes spouting water forth with suitable wave action at high-tide.   The lack of action of the water was made up by the clicking sound of the cameras.  Not only where the Austrians (and ex Austrians) firing away with their gadgets, but other assorted people did the same.  The pancake rocks is a popular stop over for bus tours such as Kon-tiki - and so a lot of folks from all sorts of places go - oh nice place - snap - yep and go snap here.   Having spent a good time strolling round and also so some assorted feather wildlife (including a tame weka) it was time to head back and resuce the luch packages - and sit down and consume said lunch.

 While doing just that we got gang-pressed by some overcurious local Weka-Mobster.  Seems they think that seeing we are on their turf they deserve to be fed.  I did manage to hand feed some bread to one cheeky bird. The rest decided that certain bootlaces looked just like a decent worm and went for that instead.

The Don of the Clan moving in - capiche?!  This is my territory . . . . 

Hmmmm this looks interesting - wonder what it taste like :D

The start of the track.  It was great.
DOC has this brochure --->

The track follows the Pororari River upstream into the Paparoa National Park. The lower section of the track passes through  and follows a spectacular limestone gorge with two main features - a river with huge rocks in deep pools, and beautiful forest featuring subtle changes in the forestry.

The track passes through a dense sub-tropical forest of coastal broad-leaf plants, nikau palms, tree ferns and towering rata. Inland at the end of the track by about 15 minutes from the bridge is a picnic spot and popular swimming hole during the warmer summer months.
A 15 minute gentle stroll from the car park brings you to a seat and a lookout, with spectacular views of the river gorge with its magnificent limestone cliffs. From this point on, the track narrows and the gradients become a little steeper as the track continues for another 2.5km until it meets the Inland Pack Track. Five minutes beyond this junction the track leads to the riverbed, an ideal place for a rest before retracing your steps back to the car park.

Bird life on the Pororari River Track includes native Weka, a large, brown flightless bird that has a famously feisty and curious personality. Also Tomtits, New Zealand Bush Robins, native Pigeons, Tuis and Bellbirds.
At the end of the gorge, the track emerges onto the open Pororari River flats where it intersects with the Inland Pack Track.
Suitable footwear should be worn to complete the track. To complete the walk you should allow 2.5 hours return, however, if you’re just out for a short walk, the lower section is very enjoyable for a stroll to stretch the legs.

A budding Fern - with a Koru - a symbol steeped in Maori Mythology.  It is our symbol on our national Airline - Air NZ.

The canopy is constantly changing - with Nikau palms to Ponga trees and various Trees including Rimu and Red Beech.   Walk on river was great – cool shade and lots of lush green tones – Wilfried stopping at nearly every second step. Eventually he's out-photographed himself and we made good progress to swing bridge.

So naturally seeing it was a hot slog up to the bridge - the good folks stopped and decided to sample the temperature of the water.  As you can see - it was cold and while there was a playful interplay - the thought of going further in and sampling the water just went out of the mind - not to mention the door. Thus the river baptism that I had in mind has to wait.  I did offer one young lass a leg up - no wait a hand up - which ALMOST resulted in having a in-voluntary premature bath - or was that a re-affirming faith :)  !!!
I have to say - if I had my own children there when they were younger - we definitely would have had a wet boy by now. Whence my reference to always having a spare towel in the boot of the car - there were many occasions when they were taken home sitting in nothing else then their wet undies and a towel wrapped round their bodies.  I digress :) 
From there it was back towards the car - and surprise surprise LESS photos are being taken.
We were met by mamabear who was still feeling the effects of some sort of bug and had decided to go only so far then return and sit in the shade and read her book.  It also gave her the opportunity to thoroughly "inspect" any other young stallion marching in on the track - many whom we passed on the way out!  Knew there was a ulterior motive ^^


We decided that seeing high-tide was now in we strolled back to the Pancake rocks and saw some more spray action!! This time they were better and you just had to get your timing right to take a decent picture.  While standing there admiring the spray along with several ooooh's and ahhh's we got  - yes we got wet again  -- from the spray being carried by the wind.  I did shower in the morning - so thank you mother nature for reminding me that after a sweaty stroll through the river walk  - I needed to re-fresh!!  Not sure about the salty content . . . .


Time to go home and have dinner - some pumpkin mushroom rice something rather.

Then seeing it was such a nice day - back to the beach for the traditional sit and watch the sun set - along with a bubbly and strawberries.   Yesterday's sunset should prove to be the best on offer.   We have been many times over to the Coast and seen the sun set (properly) only at around  20% of our time over there - mostly due to the bank of clouds you often get.  Not to be deterred - we packed the chairs and berries and bubbly and set up camp on the Beach (and yes it was as refreshing as we look) and waited for what we assumed to be the actual setting time - then drank to the day just gone (along with the experiences) and the promise for more sun tomorrow!!


Where are you going Sun - come back - let me hug you!!

Salut old sun - we thank you for your warmth and all it gives and provides.  See you tomorrow - bright and early . . . . .

Once back home on base - I took a pill to help with the aching body (must have got mamabear's bug who got it from son numero two who got it from . . . .     –  and slept like a dead stone from 9.30 to 11.45,  then was semi awake the rest of the night - go figure!!
Ah well - a good day out

bear print

0 Leave ur comment here :

◄Design by Pocket