Pitching Our Tents on Labour Weekend

Just before the labour weekend rolled around, J suggested we all take a trip to the West Coast to explore the area. Since none of us had any idea about the area,  J did all the research . The existence of a yarn store in the town may or may not have influenced the choice of destination. Just putting it out  there how  some decisions are made around these parts.
But that is not the point , the point is that , this time around,J convinced us all that we needed to go camping the Kiwi style. 
Grey Mouth is about three hours drive from Christchurch and we took the Arthur Pass route.To say that the scenic drive was spectacular ,would be an understatement.
Castle Hill
The terrain itself is so different on each side the mountain. As we went up the mountains the long stretches of the dark grey river beds  with streams trickling by and dull brown beech trees, were a feast to the eyes.
We did not expect that the steep scary down hill drive ,would lead us into a rainforest like terrain with ferns and lilies everywhere. 
Not just the that, the gorge and the bridges simply took our breath away! There were a few nervous  giggles driving under the waterfalls redirected into chutes over the bridge.
Grey mouth will go down in our family history as the first place where we pitched our tents. Yes , I said Tents!  No ,I did not have anything to do with pitching them, it was all done by Big B with the help of J.
If you knew me in real life, you would probably understand when I say that adventure and me are as far away as the North and South pole from each other.And thats why you see, a destination with a yarn store had to be thrown in for some motivation  :P 
I really couldn't believe I was crawling on all fours trying to get into the tent.  Sure, it was super  cold in there at night .However, throwing in a couple of hot water bottles into my sleeping bag, made sure , I had a good night's sleep. The boys had a massive brotherly bonding time and enjoyed it very much. Honestly though, it was fun .

The Kiwi Holiday Park where we stayed , with its self containted kitchen, lounge, toilets was very convenient and clean.














When we went out to explore the town, we were a tad disappointed to learn that the town centre as well as the roads were closed for a Bike race.
 We spent a good hour, wondering what to do, pacing through the streets,
oogling at the very cool bikes that seemed to have descended on the town overnight!
These bikes took us back to our newly wed days when we owned a Yamaha and went on several road trips on it. The boys were pretty cross we did not hold on to it. Good Times.
Bikes could be seen vrooming and thundering around  the town.
I was super excited that I got a racer on camera because, believe me when I say they were racing at lightning speed.
With all other options we had in mind coming to a halt, we decided to go see the Pancake rocks. It was the best decision we made.
The drive along the coastline was simply breathtaking.
Rugged mountains on one side the vast wide ocean on the other, the beauty left us speechless.
At the entrance of the Paparoa National Park, a Weka greeted us. Another flightless native New Zealand Bird.
As we walked through the well laid out trail,the beauty that greeted us was mind blowing, we did not know where to look!

If we had to look at the rock formations that looked like pancakes stacked one above the other,
or gaze at the the rock formations that looked like humans,or read the the little information boards pointing out  how these formation of rocks came about thirty million years ago and humourously supposing the  erosion of these pancake shaped rock formations could be the handiwork of these human shaped rocks eating them away.
The birds nesting so high up on the rocks,


and the walk around the blowholes that was beyond awesome . Big B took charge of the photography and happily clicked away. Some of his shots have blown me away.
On the way back, we had a little picnic of different salads we had picked up at Countdown earlier, on the river bank
By the time we returned to our tents we were all ready for a nap. After a nice nap we went for a walk on the beach that was just on the other side of the road from the park we stayed in.
pics by Big B
And came back with pebbles and beautiful driftwood. 
The steep drive back home, had some nail biting moments with,"stop the car, pull over on the side of the road" shrieks from Big B as  fog enveloped around the  mountain we were on, and we could barely see anything in front of us.Lil B, blissfully slept through it all!
By God's grace, we reached back home safe and sound without any harm and fell into our beds with content and thankful hearts.
Oh and even though my plans to visit a yarn store went out the window, I found a small skein of Romney handspun yarn at the coffee and craft store right next to the i-site visitor centre opposite the entrance of Paparoa National Park.And the funny part was, I did not notice it until J pointed it to me 
and insisted I pick one. I tell you, he's the reason I'm so spoilt!

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