Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day eight 16th February 2008

Today we were intending to drive to Greymouth to see Andrew again, to make sure everything was OK before we headed back across the strait to Wellington. A bit of a departure from out usual day, as we were going to have two driving sessions, and a single walk in the middle of the day. So the first part of the day was taken up with the drive to Arthur's pass via the Porter's Pass and Castle Hill area. We arrived Arthur's pass at lunchtime, and stopped at Arthur's Hotel where we had a late breakfast type meal. Very nice!

There were two nice walks signposted from the village centre, the first to the Devil's Punchbowl falls. This was a fairly short but quite steep trek up boardwalks and stairs (I hate stairs up the sides of hills, it defeats the purpose of going out for a walk!) to quite a scenic waterfall. This photo is a vertical panorama, so click on it to see it properly.

On the way down from the Devil's Punchbowl, the path to the Bridal Veil falls heads off up the main valley to the right. This is a much more natural path, with a few steps built into it, but is quite a nice one hour return walk. At one point it drops down very steeply to cross a stream, and climbs very steeply up the other side. Quite a scramble for a fat old man! I think this path was put in to service the power lines which run overhead for most of the second half of the walk. The path eventually joins the main state highway, so we turned around and retraced our steps. The old power station back at Arthur's pass village was worth a visit too.

So not a very exciting days walking, but I think we were getting tired by the time we got to Arthur's Pass, so it was about all we were up for!
The drive to Greymouth was fun, and eventually we got back into countryside we were quite familiar with. It was like going home!
We stayed at the Greymouth Top Ten holiday park, camping next to the beach. Andrew was fine, he seemed pleased to be taken out for a meal at a hotel, but after a quick walk we dropped him off at his apartment, and we went off to our tent for a nights sleep!

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