Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Puponga and back

Today was a day for a road trip. We drive from Marahau to Port Puponga and back. Port Puponga is about as far north as you can go on the South Island. It is an area of sparce population, and beautiful scenery. We were in and out of rain most of the day today, but being in the car for most of it, made the trip OK. It seems like the times we wanted to stop and see things, the rain let up. The area is so sparce in population, at the cafe where we had lunch, they had disconnected their computers during the thunderstorm. They were concerned because it was a minimum of two hours just to get someone there to take a look at any problems.

The drive was up and over an 830 meter ridge and back down to sea level. The drive was up national highway 60, but is two lane and very windy, with many switchbacks and relatively steep angles. It was a fun drive, better on the way home when it had mostly quite raining.

We drive all the way to Cape Farewell, and up to a view point overlooking the Tasman Sea. The wind was so strong up there that we all had trouble standing up to look out over the cliff and the water. It was obvious that the wind blows a lot there since the trees were all leaning in the direction of the wind.


We had lunch at the Pabblecrab Cafe (the place I mentioned above). While we were there we had a good thunderstorm and buckets of rain. Lovely lunch of tomatoe soup and foccaccio bread for three of us and a BLT for the fourth, but was unusual because it had BBQ sauce on it. Really nice on a cool rainly day. Here is a picture during the rain and after the rain from the cafe.

On the way back we saw a sign for a "Mechanical and Settlers Museum" near Collingwood. It was a funky little unattended museum that was full of really odd arrangements of old stuff. They had some interesting tractors, a few fixed steam engines (which apparently the run on occasion), a couple of cars, and room they called a "settlers" kitchen which was full of any old item they could find. It was fun to wander around but didn't take long.

We stopped at Takaka (pronounced the way it is spelled). It was a small but very active town. We had a coffee break, wandered a few stores, and hit the ATM machine there. By this time the sun was starting to peek through the clouds. From there we returned home via the same winding mountain road, but saw all of the views we missed on the way up.

Tonight is our last night here. We are off to Karamea on the West coast. It isn't all that far from here, except we have to drive south, then west to Westport, then north to Karamea. It is as far north as the paved road will take us on the west coast.

1 comment:

  1. What kind of car is that? (the old blue one)