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Hokitika via Tauranga and Pancake Rocks – Day 46
Thursday 12th May 2005
I’m off to Hokitika today, but I have a couple of excursions planned along the way. It feels like it could be an eventful day today, but we’ll see what the day brings..
My first excursion was to a place called Tauranga Bay. There is a seal colony here that I want to see, although the rain has been lashing down all night, and is still fairly wet at this point. I parked the car and decided to brave the weather to see the little animals. I was quite excited.
Once I had reached the rocks, I peered down to see many cute little seals all perched on their own damp rock. The recent bad weather had stirred up the sea somewhat, and the waves were battering the rocks all about them. They didn’t seem the least bit bothered though. It was dry at the moment anyway.
Some seals were playing whilst others were sleeping. A group of babies were trying desperately to climb the rocks as the sea continually ripped them away, and one of the older members of the colony had seen this and plodded over to help out. One by one it pulled all the babies to safety, it was so cute. As I admired these great creatures, I became aware of a Kiwi bus that had deposited a large number of excited travellers onto the pathway all around me; it was a good time to make my leave.
I got back in the car and drove on towards Hokitika, praying the rain would hold off. Along the way I began to see the signs for a place called ‘Pancake Rocks and Blowholes’ that I also wanted to visit, so I followed intently. Before long, I had rolled up at the car park and began to make my way to the signposted walkway.
I have to say it was absolutely fantastic. The huge waves were racing in from the sea and crashing against the rocks below, forcing water into the caves and chasms along the coastline. This sent water through the blowholes and out into the air, meters above our heads. The bad weather had increased the size of the waves considerably, and I picked the right moment to be here as the tide was coming in. The sound of the water underneath my feet sent a dull, thunderous roar through the rocks, echoing all around. The ferociousness of the sea as it filled a chasm beneath was incredible, and I didn’t fancy my chances much if I were to fall in. I loved every minute of it.
I had a bit to eat and a coffee in the café afterwards, and sat as they played Elton John over the sound system. The song ‘Daniel’ came on, and I had to smile (this being my name). I stayed for a while before relocating myself back into my car. Hokitika was next.
I arrived at Blue Spur Lodge in the early afternoon and chilled out for a while as I wrote my diary. I also spent a while working through some more plans. After completing the planning, I was no better off. All I had decided was that I wanted to visit Fox Glacier tomorrow. What I will do there will depend on when I get there. At least it was the beginnings of a plan anyhow.
I obtained money from the nearby town, had my dinner in the evening, and relaxed by the fire into the night, lovely!
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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