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Published: April 13th 2006
No, this isn't about me making out with some green space alien or anything like that. Hell its not even about me making out with anyone.
Its Friday night and I find myself camped at Lake Mahinapua, about 10Kms south of Hokitika.
Since Tuesday when I left Murchison I have just been driving the West Coast.
Went up to Karamea... and camped on the beach, listening to the waves Thunderously crash.
I also went and visited some limestone arches that were way cool. One was called the Gates of Moria. Not sure if it was used in the movie or not, but it easily could have been the few from inside looking out.
Oh and then on down to Punakaiki and the pancake rocks. Here I found the most glorious place to free camp. I just started driving down this little gravel road to a DOC carpark. (Bullock Creek Rd) Along the way this road follows this little creek and on either side are these sheer granite cliffs. At the end of the road though, it opens up and you are in this flat valley.... looking around to cliffs on all sides.
The bird life up here was amazing. I met a guy looking for deer up here and he said I might even here a Kiwi in the night... I'm sure I did 😉 Oh yeah, the stream bed here is dry also. About a 10 minute walk up the trail the whole river drops underground, very cool!
And that brings me to the campground at Lake Mahinpua on Friday night.
I've timed it to be here on Friday night because I've been informed by all kinds of people that this is where all the kayakers camp. I was also warned that there wasn't anywater on the west coast, and there wasn't. But what the heck, besides the campground being here, there is a pub across the street, where... you guessed it the kayakers hang out. So if nothing else its a good pub and you can get pissed.
There aren't any kayakers in the campsite all afternoon. But I'm not detered they will show up later and I'll see them at the pub.
So I head over to the pub and order myself a pint... only to find they don't serve food....well they did have some pies which I promptly ate.
But in talking to the bartender I find out that the pub is actually closed after 7PM. They have a private party... 7 days a week.
The Kiwi Experience buses come here. These buses are big and green and basically are a cheap tour around NZ. They are generally filled with 20 somethings looking to party. The locals have all kinds of names for the busses but I've elected to stick with "The big green hookup."
Anyway, they come to this pub every night and because they've had trouble with locals in the past, they aren't allowed in.
My response to this is "really, everyone in Murch, told me this is where the kayakers camped across the street hang out."
The bartenders answer is "Oh, you are a kayaker, well then you are welcome here. Might even be some local kayakers later."
So I stay. Meet Zach who is local kayaker and he tells me no paddling, no water and no choppers flying because of the weather. So we proceed to get pissed and hit on 20 something Euros.
Well, I'll just put it bluntly, no luck. The bartender said this was the lamest Kiwi Experience bus he had seen ever. Zach and I were last in the bar at 12:30.
But the story doesn't end here.
Saturday night I'm in the Moose in Te Anau. This guy comes up to me. He remebers me from the Lake Mahinapua pub. Him and his mates were trying to figure out what my deal was. Why wasn't I dressed up like the other Kiwi Experience people. Oh yeah, I left that part out.... this was a "dress up" party for them. They all had to wear stuff in bad tastes. So men in drag, blah blah blah.
Anyway, they figured I was either staying there multiply nights or was some creepy, local, stalker guy.
And now here I was in Te Anau all alone again.... quite funny. Pictures
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