We set off to drive through some beautiful scenery, through the Buller Gorge until we saw some boys in strange costume hitching. Curiosity got the better of us and we picked them up. They were two German carpenters doing the obligatory 3 years of practice away from home that comes after their apprenticeship. They had travelled all over the world and really enjoyed the process of learning from other craftsmen and being in such different places as Scotland, France, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. They were now on their way home.
We continued on towards Reefton, where we were due to meet Ros and Mac. They were staying in a camper van just opposite our B&B. This one has to be the worst we have stayed at so far, but it was just for one night, and most of that we spent out with Ros and Mac. First we went to the local swimming spot and had a great swim in the river. Then later we went out for dinner, drank rather too much and decided to meet up for coffee the next morning. Ros and Rich spent much of the time reminiscing about past events and people at Ellesmere and catching up with the latest gossip.
Reefton to Fox Glacier Feb 5th
We found out that this Saturday was the Reefton show so we got up, had coffee as arranged, then went our separate ways. We will meet up again later on the tour. We really enjoyed the little village show, seeing the sheep shearing was great and Rich was blown away by the axe man competition and really amazed to see so many Jags in New Zealand: the Christchurch Jaguar club, all with great number plates. We weren’t so impressed by the Art and photography but there was plenty to do and see.
From there we headed off through Greymouth , and then into the rainforest again winding our way towards the Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers. Such amazing sights to see, with all the tree ferns again on our way and then the huge expanses of ice in the middle of the mountains. They have to be seen to be believed. There are a remarkable number of old cars about, mostly rotting by the side of the road and some even used as gate posts. We also found the Puke pub, but it was closed. In the café over the road the Possum pie was off the menu as they had not caught any possums recently. That is genuine…….. read the menu.