DAY TWO - The Great Trek South
Blenheim to Hanmer Springs
Friday morning began with a few intrepid guys cranking up the BBQs
from the night before to cook up the left over bacon with some eggs and hash browns! Not
withstanding the cholesterol loading in our systems, we managed to set off on the leg to
Hanmer Springs pretty much together around 9am.
The bright and sunny morning made it a very pleasant run through the vineyards of
Marlborough, and the sleepy hamlets of Seddon and Ward. Most of the convoy stopped at
"The Store" at Kekerengu for their morning caffeine fix. This peaceful café is
located on the shore and watching the waves quietly break on the pebbly beach was just the
right sound to accompany the coffee. Our next stop was the seal colony at Ohau Bay. A
clear rocky stream runs into the ocean here and the juvenile seals have learned to make
their way up the stream to play in the small pools. Sometimes they will make it the 300m
or so right up to the beautiful 30m waterfall and frolic in the pool at the bottom of the
falls - but alas none were there today.
Everyone made Kaikoura their lunch stop (the seafood chowder was a favourite dish!) but
unfortunately for Phil and Jeni Le Gros the stop was to turn out somewhat longer than just
for lunch. The radiator on their MGF decided to spring a leak and was sufficiently serious
to require towing the car to Christchurch for repairs - we would meet up with them again
Just out of Kaikoura was the turnoff to the inland route to Hanmer Springs. But this time
the sun was well over the yard arm and the temperature was up in the high 20s. The route
was great MG country with lots of hills and many, many sharp low gear twists and turns.
The views and the country side weren't bad either! At Waiau the racier types took the back
gravel road to the Springs where there was a line-up of cars at the Motel being cleaned
and having the bug bodies scraped from the windscreen.
Before dinner at the adjoining hotel, where Bernie Ashwell won the raffle, several of us
spent an hour or so soaking in the hot springs. It was a relaxing end to another great day
in the caravan of MGs.
the BBQ anyone?
basking in the sun
A train on the
Kaikura coast line