Nelson, New Zealand
The area around my ankles wasn’t as sore or bruised as I thought they would be. Infact, both Mike and I didn’t feel too achy at all. We drove up to Lake Matheson and did a 1hr loop walk around the lake. From the far end, there is a perfect reflection of Mount Cook in the water, as it is so still. For the rest of the day, we planned for mostly driving: Drive north to Arthurs Pass, do a quick walk there, then carry onto Punakaki to see the ‘Pancake Rocks’ and blowholes at high tide. Well that was the plan. When we got to Hokitika, we encountered our first traffic jam. There were only a handful of cars leading to a roundabout but nothing was moving. We turned the engine off and waited for what seemed like ages in a boiling hot car. We took a shortcut at one stage, which probably knocked off quite a bit of queuing time, but altogether it took 2hrs to go 2kms. We thought it might have been a bad crash but it was a one-lane-wide bridge, and they were only letting about 10 cars go across at a time in each direction. After all that, we didn’t feel like driving the extra 200km return to Arthurs Pass. So we carried on to the pancake rocks and got there just in time for high tide. However, the sea was calm. On a rough day, sea water would be pushed through the gaps in the pancake rocks (named because the rocks look like a stack of pancakes and no-one knows how they got into layers) and the pressure would force the water out of the top. We looked at photos instead, then quickly moved on to reach Nelson at night.