Friday, May 29, 2015

Hokitika Blue Gorge (+ Lashing Rain)

Look at that water, and I promise you that's the actual color. Friday we left the coast and drove east through dairy country to this turquoise slash.

Side note: T'was a good thing we made our gorge visit yesterday. The rain is just ferocious today, lashing storms that take horizontal swipes at pants not covered by raincoat (on this day we decided to walk to town, but that's another story). It's about 53 degrees F.
NZ's West Coast gets more rain than anywhere else in the country. The wettest place of all is a small isolated area 10K from the blue gorge in the Southern Alps. There, at the Cropp River, about 12 meters (39 feet) of rain is recorded each year. 
Here on the west coast, the average is about 3 meters annually, or 9.8 feet. Happily, the caravan is perfectly watertight, and I'm still thinking about yesterday. When you first get a peek of the gorge through the trees, you mind says no way.

The swingbridge across the water is almost as great as the gorge itself. The bridge sways gently as you walk, forcing you into a kind of duck-walk.

Here's a shot from the bridge, otherworldly with reflected clouds.

I'm on limited bits and bytes here at our new campground, but let me try to add a few more pix. My eyes can't seem to get enough.

The recipe for color: rock flour (ground down schist and greywacke rock), melted mineral-rich glacier ice, and river water. Shaken, not stirred.

There's a beautiful viewing platform once you cross the bridge. And if you scramble down the rocks... can get even closer to the turquoise.

A biking couple right behind us found a splendid place to rest.

Also, just for the record, I would have paid more than US $25 to view this natural wonder, which was free.

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