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Published: March 9th 2014
Saturday 8th March - awoke to clear blue skies and took leisurely 50 metre stroll down to the lake before breakfast. Stunning views across the lake which was like glass reflecting the mountains. Beautiful and tranquil but a reality check came with the news that a 19 Year old lad from Germany had gone missing on one of the many tracks 3 days ago and was presumed lost with little chance of being found.
After breakfast we took a 2 hour walk around the lakeside seeing only 3 other people but lots of wildlife in particular bumble bees by the hundred, sand flies by the thousand plus numerous birds including Bell Birds, Fantails, Silver Eyes and a white heron.in the lake itself there were trout and Eels some of which we saw and would have been at least 25lb and over a metre long. Clive, question for the day - what's the purpose of sand flies in the grand scheme of things!
Had a quick lunch and hit the road again towards Westport on the coast via Murchison (another one-horse historical town). Stopped the night at another DOC site at Lyell, an old gold mining settlement now abandoned to
the elements. Next morning (Sunday 9th) it was on with the walking boots to explore the Old Ghost Track. Before we started we met a fellow camper (Kiwi) who was fossicking for gold in the river - after several hours he had an aching back, loads of sand fly bites, wasp stings but no gold! We left him to it and headed up the track to see the historical remnants of the gold mining industry. The Croesus Battery consisted of huge bits of machinery used to pulverise the quartz to extract the gold - much of the machinery is still there along with a cemetery with graves of those pioneer miners - it was very moving.
Left Lyell and headed down the Buller Gorge - more fantastic scenery and empty roads for mile after mile - New Zealand really is a wonderful country and we keep running out of superlatives. Stopped at Westport for some shopping and then continued down the coast towards Greymouth stopping at Punakaiki to see the Pancake Rocks. These were amazing - horizontal layers of limestone now being eroded by wind and waves. There were blowholes, surge pools and sea stacks which photos cannot really
The beautiful setting belies the dangers
Somewhere on the mountains is where the young German boy was lost
do justice to.
Booked into a campsite on the beach in Greymouth tonight so we can do our blog, our laundry and have hot showers!!!!
lol Lyn & Tony
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