Monday, 1 February 2016

Dealing with long drives

The drive from Josef Franz to Motueka, near the Abel Tasman region, is about six hours. I think three hours is a long drive so I know that six hours might be tough on me. I set off at 11am and I have to be at the hostel well before 8pm to get checked in ok and ask questions. 

I check out of the hostel in Franz Josef and they tell me I have paid when I don't think I have. We have a short discussion and I leave still uncertain.

A number of things are playing on my mind: I need petrol before I set off as it's quite long stretches without petrol stations and I don't know how they do petrol here. I am the sort of person that likes to have a plan. I have been to places where you have to pre-pay for an amount before filling up, places where they have to have an attendant do it for you etc. What is New Zealand's method? Turns out it's the same as the UK so that's easy. Then I'm wondering what would I do if I broke down or had a tyre blow (unlikely but possible) and what will the hostel be like; will I be strung up if I snore? 

I discover there is a petrol place as I leave the town.... A quick fill up sorted and water purchased in case I get stuck out in the wilderness. :) Planning ahead! 

The drive starts out as I expect... It's beautiful; Lakes meet mountains that greet blue skies and all are bathed in beautiful bright sunshine through the clean air. Delicate and colourful flowers are dotted along the roadsides and lake edges. My little red car sticks out everywhere, especially since most of the time I am driving without other vehicles around. 

Someone told me this hand signal means love! Big love New Zealand!

On my journey I stopped to look at interesting things. This made my journey longer but also broke it up which was great.

One of the things I discovered was a river that looked like raspberry slushy! It was so bright! 

Fields, beaches, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and expansive lakes = New Zealand. 

I made a stop to treat my crazily itchy bites!!! Damn mozzies! 
Ahhh lovely bite spray... Thank you! 

I travel close to the coast and I decide to stop there for a moment... Goggle takes me right up the garden path and I actually end up in someone's garden. I cringe-smile with embarrassment at the confused lady hanging out her washing and I throw the car into reverse. Doh! I have to reverse a rather long way though as it is a single track road. Oh dear. I will find other beaches ;) 

I had thought I would stop at greymouth but it looked so industrial and dull that I didn't even both to stop to take photos. Don't bother staying here.

I did however stop when I saw the chance to walk high up in the trees. 

First a little hike to stretch the legs out :) 

So it turns out info have a bit of a fear of heights and I have to slightly talk myself round the latticey and industrial steel walkways. 

I try to focus on the views because they are beautiful.

And not looking down...

Not not looking down...

This type of tree is super common in New Zealand. It starts out like a Christmas tree shape and then as it gets bigger the bottom beaches drop off. This made it a favourite for loggers but not the tree is protected. :) 

The walk has a bunch of signs along the walk with descriptions of the birds you might see while not looking down.
Here is another thing I saw that wasn't the ground. ;) 

In addition to the high walkway was a high tower. I climbed up for even more spectacular views.

Very careful selfie... Don't drop the camera Peta! Hence the pensive look ;) 

A cantilever walkway was a lot bouncier that I liked but I went out there and sucked up that gut-fluttering feeling. 
How awesome is the green against the blue! It's like New Zealand is in HD with brilliant colour :) 

The walk finished I head back down the path on the ground. Fear conquered! Haha! Now for the rest of the driving to the hostel in Motueka! :) 

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