The west coast of New Zealand is known for two things: rain and sandflies. These deterrents must be pretty powerful because they have to overcome amazing natural arches, rainbows, cave tunnels, miles of forgotten coastline, and glaciers slowly crashing through valleys of rainforests.
Fortunately we timed it perfectly and got mostly blue skies and escaped with only a few lingering itches. For the first time since arriving on the island we watched the sun set into the Tasman Sea, and from one of the most picturesque beach sites I’ve ever had the pleasure of pitching tent. At said Karamea campground, at the end of a windy 100km out and back road, we joined a kiwi artist known as the Lost Gypsy for a fireside chat. “Do you think anyone with a passport will vote for Trump?” It’s not the first time we’ve been engaged in a discussion of American politics, but it was certainly the best question posed to us.
This wild coast gets a bad rap, partly because most people only see it between windshield wipers. I could tell you about the gigantic limestone arches devoid of people and warning signs. I should describe the rushing rivers stained with tannins to look like frothy vanilla extract. I will, however, save my ink and your eyes from an extra thousand words and refer to the digital fruits of modern technology instead.
So, the question that begins every skype call… where are we now? After a whirlwind last few weeks traversing the south island for some freelance work in Nelson, returning a borrowed mountain bike in Wanaka, and picking up a suitcase in Queenstown, we’re now in Marlborough Sounds. Soon we shall ferry our exhausted Dolphin (the Honda Fit) across the Cook Straight to the North Island. We’re meeting Tyler’s folks in mid-June and will be exploring with them for a couple weeks. Prepare for future blogs of waterfalls, hot springs, and lovely coastline!