We got up and decided the washing really was a prority today. Such trivial things. We just did not know what devastating news was going to hit us later that day..
Al decided to bundle it all together and wondered down to the laundry. We met at the restaurant for breakfast. It had been included in our accommodation, so it was a nice change after toast and my stolen spreads. YUM YUM..The restaurant was almost level with the beach. It was great sitting there looking out at the sea, trying to get our heads around we were looking West.. Washing done but dryer busy so while I interneted (dear dear) Al popped in and out of the laundry. Finally with 30 mins before checkout time the dryer was free..(staff using it rats) so we got it in (well Alan did) It didn't dry but we had to be off. So with wet washing we headed back to check out the touristy shops.
After having a wonder we set off for Greymouth. This is where the Tranz Alpine comes to from Christchurch and we were hoping to do that trip later in the holiday. The trip there was just fantastic. The weather was not fantastic but neither was it miserable. The views were simply stunning. A very relaxing trip.
When we arrived in Greymouth roadworks blocked our way, but after a stop in town, a shop (at the warehouse..similar to our Kmart) we were off to Hokitika where we planned to spend the night.
By this stage our car had filled up with so many brochures, catalogues etc from every tourist place and Itag place we had visited we were indanger of not fitting in the car. Every time we came to a town we scanned the various catalogues (we had also taken our lonely planets guide and the DK NZ guide (way better then lonely planets) to try and find accommodation. I might add we did not ever book anything from these. It was way better to look and find.
We got a great hotel right on the beach (hoping for a western sunset) http://www.beachfronthotel.co.nz/ and were delighted to be there. Alan was impressed that the TV had a local channel which gave you all the touristy things to do. Unfortunatly there was a thick fog?cloud covering the ocean and so we hoped it would clear by sunset
Our number 1 stop was at the Kiwi house. Heck we had to see a Kiwi. The above photo shows the picture of a kiwi I managed to snap..using Als Canberra with its little bit of light. Cameras are not to be used..
We arrived at the Kiwi house and saw all the other things (giant eels..pictured above so ugly and very plentiful in NZ) crayfish, white bait..etc but we really had paid our $28 to see the 2 kiwi. We arrived at the enclosure and waited. We stood for 1/2 an hour waiting. They were way down the back of the enclosure. So frustrating. Sometimes one would come about a third of the way forward but mostly we could just see them running and jumping and squaking way down the back..possicly 30 metres (at least) away. I even said to Alan I was surprised they didn't do something to encourage them up near where people could see them..and we waited somwemore. Finally another couple arrived and we gave them the run down..Too far back..but u can c them if u look..they nodded and walked off. I said to Al "no committment" then I relised the not committed people had followed the track around and were now standing at the back of the enclosure where the fr...n kiwis were..did we feel foolish??/ did we know the path went AROUND the enclosure?? So embarressing..
After that incident we headed off to the jade factory (1 of about 3 in town) went to the gold place where I got to hold a gold nuggett weighing about 1 kg.. WOW) we looked and walked, coffeeed and then back to the hotel to hopefully see our western sunset.
We were sitting there when my phone rang. It was AJ telling me she was devastated? Y said I cause your iphone is dead (read it on FB) no she said "Kane is dead" A young friend of all of us from RCC (our church) had been killed earlier that day in a motor bike accident. Shock was all we felt. Devastation and lonliness. All the joy left us. We really could not describe how we felt.
We never did get our sunset..the pictures above were about as good as it got but sunset pictures were not uppermost in our mind. We knew Kane would not want us mopping around. We left and headed off to look at glowworms. Just a short drive and then a little walk off the main road in a little path overshaddowed by trees ..almost cave like. It wasn't quite dark when we arrived and as we watched and it got darker, it was just fascinating. Like watching a city at night..they kept appearing.. just beautiful. We watched for about an hour and headed back to town, still feeling quite desolate. We headed to a local wine bar and had some local chatting, wine and nibbles. An enjoyable thing under the circumstances. The day had been long, a very memorable day..funny and sad. A day we would always remember.