Posted by: dammer145 | November 4, 2008

Storm on the Greymouth front

The day before we had booked ourselves a treatment at the Hanmer Springs Spa, but as it wasn’t until noon that we had to be there we had planned to go and play midget golf. We had breakfast and made our way to the A-Maze-Ing golf, a combination of a maze and golf – but it was closed! We tried the other one a bit further up the hill, but it was closed as well! They both said they should be open from 10:00, but at 10:30 both were still closed. As we had to wait for another 90 minutes we killed some time by having a look at the two or three shops in the village and we had a coffee in one of the two cafes the town has.

Come 12:00 we headed to the spa for our “Vichy Scrub” treatment. We were provided with bath robes, towels and disposable (!) swimming trunks; once we had changed we waited in the lounge. We were collected by two ladies and both Anouk and myself were led to our own “chamber”. The we were asked to lay down on a sort of oval, wooden table with a sort of arm above it that had various shower heads on it. First our whole bodies got scrubbed with a sort of rough mix of almonds and brown sugar. Then that slowly got showered off with a massage shower. Relaxing!

After having topped up our fluids with some large glasses of water, we got changed. We had some lunch in the camper (Anouk made some tuna salad).We were stuck with a little bit of a dilemma: the weather predictions for the West Coast were not good, but we didn’t really want to backtrack the road we came on (and there is only one road eastwards and one road westwards from Hanmer Springs). We decided to press on westwards and hope it would not be too bad; we set off at about 14:00. On our way out of town we discovered that the golf had opened! Anouk felt betrayed by midget golf and swore never to try to play again in NZ.

Our camper mascots Tahi and Rua (One and Two in Maori).

Along the road we passed some large open plains and it soon became clear that the weather was indeed turning sour. A storm was clearly gathering and at times I had to be very careful as the winds were literally pushing the camper van off the road.
After a rather harrowing trip we finally made it to Greymouth, one of the larger towns on the west coast of the southern island. By the time we got there it had started to rain and the wind had picked up even more speed. We filled up on diesel at the local BP and headed for the camping.

We made ourselves some dinner (pasta with scampis), watched a film we had brought with us (Harsh Times) and crept into bed. By this time the camper was being rocked back and forth pretty heavily – at about 02:00 it was shaking so hard that it woke us up – at first I thought the camping had been flooded or so but it hadn’t.. after a while I fell asleep again.

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