Hi possums, wearing my nice warm possum hat
A storm blasting Antarctic weather over New Zealand is currently the biggest storm on earth according to WeatherWatch.
The monster storm is producing slamming winds that push and jolt our little caravan as we sleep, disconcerting the first night but after three days and Art's assurances the camper won't be blown over, another new experience. Plus, rainbows everywhere after the fierce brief showers, like the one at top that I captured out our window.
And that autumn light
Today's hike took us along, up, and down the Pororari River Track, the entry point just across the main road from this campground. It's amusing as you drive down the coast to encounter a map that says "Punakaiki Village," only to discover it consists of the campground, a group of beach cottage rentals, and this, the Punkaiki Tavern. Yep, that's it. No stores, nothing else.
Our walk today snaked largely under the cover of NZ foliage that continues to capture me. I mean!
It hailed along the way, a showering tututut of tiny ice balls. Who doesn't love Big Weather?
The Pororari River
Massive blocks of limestone lay where they tumbled eons ago.
Seen the back of Art's perfectly waterproof jacket one time too many? Purchased in the Fingerlakes region of upstate NY a few years ago (love to Fletch and Denise), it's NZ perfect.
These banded trees remind me of okapi legs.
There are no okapi in NZ
A diverse and stimulating seven-mile hike, which continues for hours if you choose as the Inland Pack Track. Back across the street to check out the tavern's lunch menu--a fishburger hits the spot.
Upon returning to the caravan, a surprise: warm cheesy scones from our campground host, delivered. A camp to remember.
Tomorrow we'll hit the coast road again, from Punakaiki to Hokitika, passing through Greymouth (population 10,000), the largest city on the west coast, accounting for 41% of its population.