Cunninghams On Parade - 2017 New Zealand: Return to the Shire travel blog

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lyell, New Zealand

TRAVEL QUOTE OF THE DAY: “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.” - Hans Christian Andersen

Tell it like it is, Hans!......

Woke up this morning to a socked in, raining, dreary day - the full on rain has finally caught up to us….but I can’t complain really. We have had spectacular weather on this trip so far and into every trip a little rain must fall! So we will push on in true Kiwi fashion and enjoy the day just the same…

The alarm went off at 7 but I didn’t stir much till 7:45. No need to rush around just to get out in the rainy day. We had considered going on a bike ride today but the rain is just too much so we decide to push on north. Took our time getting dressed and having breakfast (cereal all around) and looking at maps. Decided to head up to Greymouth and take a look around there; we’ve been before, weren’t bowled over but hey, in the rain, maybe it’s got stores or something. Pulled out of the camper park at 10:30 and in about 30 minutes we were in Greymouth. As we pulled into town, saw a New World grocery store and pulled in. When in doubt on a rainy day, grocery shop! There were lots of other campers there too so it was a popular idea….lol. We spent about an hour puttering around the store and picked up some mince (that’s ground beef to you and me), bread, rice, Malteaser candy easter eggs, milk, ham, two more oodles of noodles cups, and a couple of Sistema brand containers. This store had tons of them and they are so neat - did you know they’re made in New Zealand? Finally checked out and put the groceries away and were ready for lunch. But I had a hankering for a pie and so we looked up bakeries in Greymouth.

Settled on one with good reviews called Blanchfield’s Bakery in the downtown area. It was still pouring rain (had rained heavily the whole way up) so not much traffic. Found a parking space on the street and went in. They had a bakery side and a cafe side and you could buy stuff at the bakery and then eat it in the cafe side no problems so that’s what we did. I got an Eggs Benny pie which was one of my favorites of the trip: open top pie with spinach, ham, an egg, cheese and some hashbrowns on top that was baked and then topped with a drizzle of hollandaise - delicious! Art got a similar one that had egg, ham and an Arby’s potato cake looking thing stuck in it that was just okay. Also got a “slice” which is their word for square of brownie or cake, etc. It was called Hello Rosie and was a cookie base with a coconut topping. Not my favorite but Art liked it so I gave it to him and went back and got myself a jam and cream filled donut - again, delicious! We ordered drinks in the cafe: I got a pot of tea for 1 (and it came with the whole nine yards of tea pot with tea bag, pot of hot water, small pot of cream, cup/saucer) and Art got a flat white. The drinks were good too and the combination of bakery things and hot drinks put us in a good mood despite the rain.

After such a yummy lunch, we were back in the camper and headed north to Westport. Been there too and it’s not the end of the road (that would be Cape Foulwind!) but you can see it from there. We arrived about 3:30 and found the West Coast Brewery. Art had called earlier and they had a tour going at 4pm and we joined in with that. Parked across the street in a big lot, no other cars or campers around. Walked in right before 4 and it was just getting started. The group of 13 already there were from a Stray group, a service that gives young people transport around the country, hop on/hop off style. Sounds cool. Anyway, there was them and the 2 old people in the camper. Jason was the tour guide and one of 2 guys working there and he was awesome; he’s American and from Alaska. Nice, nice guy. Gave a great tour. We sampled 6 beers plus a caramel apple cider and a ginger beer. Saw the brewery workings and then he grilled up some hotdogs and we had hotdogs and crisps (read: potato chips) to eat too. Tour was $30NZ each and was worth it; it was an especially good thing to do in the rain! At 5:30, it was over and we went back to the camper to figure out the next step. A car pulled up about 10 minutes later and there was a knock at the door and it was Jason. He came in and had brought us a 6 pack of their ciders they are making to market to Asia. I had really like the caramel apple cider but they didn’t have any bottles to buy on the tour (Art bought 2 bottles though of the Pale Ale and the Pilsner for $6 total). So he brought the ciders and gave them to us for free! He said he had a few extra he had held back and had too many so we could try them since I liked the cider so well. Wasn’t that great? Really nice guy - he’s coming to Marchfest in Nelson on Saturday so hopefully we’ll run into him again there.

Left Westport in the rain about 6:30 and headed up the road some more towards Nelson. Rained eased up as we went and stopped just before our campground. Drove for an hour and pulled into a DOC campsite in Lyell about 7:30. It already had many cars there and 2 campers. It’s also the start for the Old Ghost Road mountain bike trail so that’s probably what lots of the cars are. We found a spot to pull in and settled in for the night (site was $8 total, not too bad but should be free really). Sat around on our phones (no service so doing some reading on things downloaded previously) and finally got a little peckish around 8:30. I made a 3 Minute noodle thing on the gas stove and we shared that. Art opened up some Afghan cookies he had bought this morning and they were a sad, sad disappointment after the gloriousness of his Anzac cookies. Tomorrow we have to find a Coupland’s in Nelson to get more!

I worked on the journal and we got ready for bed. Not a lot to do here. We WOULD watch a dvd or something but the TV is really, most sincerely dead so we haven’t watched tv in, oh, about 3.5 weeks. I think the last time was the hotel in Christchurch when we arrived! No, wait…..we watched a little bit in Duntroon at our house there. Holy moley - imagine almost a whole month with no news good or bad - it’s great! LOL! I should do this at home….

Turned in finally about 11:15.



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