It was a mixed day which combined inland bush & coastal walks with some cycling in between.
The morning started with a short walk up one river, a climb up to a ridge and descent to another river running through a lovely limestone gorge. Lush bush & spectacular rocks & cliffs were enhanced by the continued perfect weather.
We returned to Punakaiki for a look at the infamous pancake rocks which were a bit flat compared to my last visit in a storm. Most amazing was the clear air which allowed a view of the Southern Alps far to the south. After that it was time to grab a bite to eat and a welcome coffee. I escaped the cafe just as a tour arrived, one of those "real" ones with 40+ stuffed in a coach...
Then it was on the bike for a re-run, for me, of the Punakaiki to Charleston ride. Last time I did it a blustery, but warm, overcast day turned into torrential rain while we rode. I remember us arriving at the Charleston Pub ringing wet but it appeared they were quite used to that!
Today it was clear blue skies and a mild south westerly (tailwind). This ride mostly hugs the coast and the views are spectacular. I re-shot lots of the photos I took last time as the coast looked completely different. Instead of big surf under grey skies it was relatively calm sparkling white waves against a blue sea & sky.
I remembered some of the ride, including a hill with several false summits, but parts of it must have been erased from the grey cells as I couldn't remember them at all!
It was rather different arriving in Charleston hot & sweaty, but still dripping! I shot down to see the bay & its hard to believe this tiny inlet was used as a harbour (in the gold rush days).
One street name in Charleston (and there aren’t many!) caught my eye. Seems more appropriate for Auckland plaster board townhouses from the late 90s!
Today's ride was only 30km (max 65km/h) but a couple of climbs, combined with walks, which totalled about 3 hours, seemed enough.
From there it was a short bus trip to the Cape Foulwind walk. I've done this before, in the storm, but the calm fine weather showed a different aspect of it.
Now it's time for dinner at a beachside restaurant south of Westport.