Where in the world are Wayne and Donna??? travel blog

sunset at Greymouth (missed sunrise!)

unusual culvert???

broom on the hillside and aqua riverwater

moonlight dippin'

dusk in Hanmer Springs

We said goodbye to the west coast as we headed across Arthurs Pass over the mountains towards the east. We wound along a river, hugging the mountainside similar to the Fraser Canyon north of Hope. There were several slide areas so we imagine this road might be a little dicey in the winter. Over the pass the river spread across a huge flat plateau with mountains on each side of it, so very picturesque if a bit desolate. This is the first part of New Zealand that has not been green and it resembles the Kamloops area.

We stopped for lunch at Waipara (about 160k northeast of Christchurch) and were surprised to see half the downtown core cordonded off. We were told it was damage from the earthquake that also hit Christchurch. It must be a nightmare for building owners as they must go to the expense of upgrading the building before it can be used (hence all the empty buildings in ruins). It would also have slashed the resale price so your investment would have lost most of its value in the few seconds that it took for the earthquake.

We had decided to take the 70k detour to check out Hanmer Springs before heading to the coast. Our San Diego guy from the Motueka hostel had highly recommended the place and he had been right about a couple of other tips so off we went (specifically the shark & chips!). We found ourselves in a beautiful little town up against the snow-capped mountains similar to Canmore. The town has a huge outdoor natural hot springs complex with several different sized pools varing in temperature from 30 in the lap pool to over 40 in some of the sulphur pools. The water was crystal-clear so we instantly decided we were in for a night at Hanmer Springs. This is also a ski resort in the winter so many of the homes are chalet-style set among the trees.

Donna loved the place and even found a help wanted poster for a part-time job at the hostel and proposed getting work, staying in NZ through the rest of Canada's winter. Wayne is more interested in touching base at home then RVing down south. He still considers work a four letter word. As Donna is not yet up I can only say I think we are still scheduled to return home November 23!!!

We found a hostel and headed back for a good hot springs soaking. It was fantastic as the sun came out and we could lay back with the sun warming our faces and the water was just the right temperature. We dragged our wrinkled bodies out for supper a couple of hours later. There was a fellow in the lounge who had just trekked 2 weeks over the mountains from the Nelson area staying in huts along the trail. Many of the multi-day hike trails feature these cabins along the way you can book into for the night. They call them huts but we have heard they are quite comfy with fireplaces and eating areas as well as bunks inside. This country is a hiking mecca with many, many multi-day hikes as well as countless local trails. They all seem to be well signed and easy to follow. We could take a lesson in using and promoting our outdoors in BC.

Donna decided we should head back for another soak after dinner so we jumped back in with mostly teens and young folks. Apparently it is the "cool" spot to be in the evening and, of course, we fit right in (or so WE thought). We should sleep well tonight!!!

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