Saturday, 1/11/11- Fernwood Holiday Park, Motueka
Travel today started at just before ten in the am and ended just after six in the pm. That, friends and readers, is one long haul of a day. Good thing this country is so bloody gorgeous or we would have gotten bored.
First things first. Happy New Year! It's 2011! Yay! Ok, good, now that's over and done with for another 365. Except in the States where it hasn't happened yet.
We made two quick stops almost immediately after setting off, setting the laid back, no hurry tone for the day's travel. First was, of course, a roadside veggie stand where we were teased over ten cents to buy tomatoes. We had $3.90. He wanted $4. We got 'em but had to listen to him pretend to complain for five minutes first.
Second was the Honey Cafe. A place which, much to your shock and mine, sold much honey and honey-related paraphernalia. So its not just a clever name.
We went back over the most intense one-lane bridge today. It also had a railroad track running down the center of it. So beware of other cars and TRAINS! Made me think “One Lane Train,” which sounds like a badass title for something. Dibs!
We were on what Angela's Lonely Planet guide calls one of the World's Top Ten Greatest Drives today and I'm right there with the editors. Incredible coastal road along the Tasman Sea. Plenty of stops to get out and gape. Have I mentioned how pretty it is here? Are you sure?
A few hours in we passed a sign for pancake rocks and a blowhole so we stopped to play tourist. The Punakaiki Blowhole and Pancake Rocks are fantastic feats of erosion, impressing children of all ages and races. A blowhole I don't have to explain, and we got two really good explosions with lots of ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing. Bigger than the one at home.
Pancake rocks are a trick of erosion and sea build up that make the rock look very tightly layered, like a stack of hotcakes seen in profile. Much the picture taking did ensue.
As we turn inland the coast goes away only to be replaced by a river run. Today was determined to prove true the River Road Rule I came up with on the summer Border to Border ride. This Rule states that “Any Road that does follow a river shall be Good.” So true today it's not even funny. Oddly enough, today necessitated a new Rule- The New Zealand Farmland Road Rule, which states, “Any such Road which follows farmland in New Zealand shall be, like all other Roads in New Zealand, Good.” This Rule is rarely used but good information to have.
Following the River Road Rule, I stopped for pictures, a snack, a motorcycle pout, and a leg stretch. It was, as the Rule so states, Good.
A while later we stopped for lunch at a decent-sized free campground where we were eaten by tiny blood flies. No gars were seen. (“I'll take Super Specialized References for $1000 please, Alex.”)
And now we are in Motueka, which claims to be near the ocean but I think it might be near mud flats connected to the ocean, which is close enough for a brochure. The little town should be good for an hour tomorrow then we'll head down the coast to Nelson, which looks promising. So from the Tasman Sea to the Tasman Bay in Cook Straight, today was one hell of a long drive. Good thing I've got the best naviguesser in the world to my left. (All together now, “Awwwww.”)