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Day 152 - 154 Greymouth, Lewis Pass & Hanmer Springs

We woke up in Hokitika and reviewed what we had planned for the next few days. We realised that although Arthur's Pass was recommended to us and, by guidebook page space, would be more spectacular than the Lewis Pass it just didn't make geographical sense. Plus petrol has been the biggest budget drain and it really would have been the long way around. Guiltily we also both needed a wifi fix. We're coming home soon so Dad needs to know to get in the chocolate mini-bix and summer fruits Robinsons squash right? We made a last minute re-route and headed to Greymouth McDonalds for a good hour of internet therapy.

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On our way to the Lewis Pass we stopped at Reefton. Yet another beautifully quaint tiny NZ town. These guys were the first to be hooked up to the power grid. With 3 shops, one supermarket and 10 cafes on offer we left after stretching our legs.

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Reefton Gold Mining History

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Reefton

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DOC Campsite near Springs Junction

When we arrived at a DOC campsite near Springs Junction the sun was shining and we got a sweet spot by the forest over looking ochre hills. I couldn't wait to jump out with my camp chair and start reading. This dream lasted about 30 seconds. Have you met the mosquito? Well the sandfly is his older, meaner brother and he was out with hundreds of his buddies just waiting to devour our skin. You can feel the little buggers bite you and it is mildly painful. Then you get a little red lump which may grow into a pussy mess. It is the itchiest thing you will ever experience in your life. At night I wake myself up scratching them and you just can't stop. This meant we spent an afternoon inside the car and when it was cooking time, despite the mild weather, I was out with only the skin on my face on show covered in greasy repellent.

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A game of poo sticks was had
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Miserable cooking with sand flies

As the sun went down and no more campers turned up we were both pretty spooked by the potentially zombie infested forest. This made for an uneven night’s sleep which was made worse when Dan woke at 3am. Two large mozzies buzzing around his face stirred him into consciousness and he discovered they'd been having a meal above his top lip. He looked like Katie Price.

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Cloudy Lewis Pass

With drizzle, cold and low clouds we skipped the Lewis Pass walking tracks the next morning and went to Hanmer Springs. With free upgrade voucher in hand we went to the Hot Pools to bathe in sulphur, rock and massage pools. We had 30 minutes in a private thermal pool- neither of us could stay in it for long at 40 degrees C. We spent most of the afternoon judging swimwear choices. The usual was on offer- inappropriate thongs, see-through one pieces, 'that white t-shirt is not covering up your muffin top', 'well those are definitely fake' and 'please lord put some more clothes on'. In the evening we went out to Corianders for an amazing Indian and braced ourselves for the arrival of cat 2 tropical cyclone Lusi. Who didn't arrive.

I forgot to tell you all how a little complaint email to JUCY got us 3 days refund on our camper. Huzzah! Hopefully this cash will be spent on a whale watching tour if Lusi allows.

Posted by vincerb 14:43 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes new_zealand camping backpacking

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