Depart Pohara Beach: 1907 km (09.30)
We left Pohara Beach with clear skies and headed back down the road to Kaiteriteri, then carried on into Motueka, where we stopped for cash and a supermarket stock up, before heading down old highway 61 towards the west coast. As we drove, the clouds rolled in and it started to rain – not a great issue on a driving day, especially as the roads were straight and quite comfortable to drive. We stopped by Mangles River just outside of Longford for lunch and had a quick dash down to the cushing river.
As there seemed little else to do in the rain, we kept driving. At Inangahua Junction we hung a left and went south towards Reefton. The Buller River got quite big and quite spectacular along the way, but there was not really any stopping points to be able to view it, which was a shame.
We arrived at Reefton at about 17.00 and although the place was quite substantial in size, it was absolutely deserted, so after a quick stop for coffee and a few encounters with some locals, we hit the road again right through to Greymouth.
We managed to pick up a radio signal that was very exciting. There's a cd player in the cab, but of course we did not waste baggage allowance on such frivolities as cds. We've bought 2 since we've bben here, but given that they will probably end up being left behind, there seems little point getting more. Probably don't need to mention that 2 cds can get a bit monotonous after a while.
So we drove on to Greymouth listening to 'classic hits' which were mostly rubbish but we sung along anyway, and arrived about an hour or so later.
We drove straight through and out the other side and found a motor home park in South Beach. It was still lashing down with rain.
The motor home park is quite small, although it does claim to have a spa (which we didn't confirm) and is just across the road from the beach. We just parked up and the first thing Nick did was ring Sally – Doc Fisher's daughter. Doc Fisher has been a long-time friend of Nick's dad, and his daughter had been out in NZ for 12 years. It was suggested that we look her up, so we did. We arranged to pop round on Sunday at 10.30.
Nick made a delicious curry from lamb chops and then as we managed to get in internet connection we paid some bills, did some emails and then Nick spoke to some of his mates from Lehman, and to his mum, using the amazing Skype. It was fun to catch up, and tell everyone what we were up to.
We didn't roll into bed until after 23.00! Well, it was Saturday night.