Since leaving Wanaka four days ago, we have cycled 240 miles (bringing the NZ trip to 876 so far) and are spending Tuesday night in the, delightfully named, little town of Hari Hari. There have been a number of long and quite steep hills to spice up lenghty stretches of undulating road. Much of the way the road weaves along the coast, with the sound of Tasman Sea waves breaking on the shore to the left and birds singing in the rain forests on the right. Low, wispy, clouds hanging in the tree and fern clad mountains makes for atmospheric travelling in this remote corner of the world.
Whilst unwinding in our motel room at Haast we were rather surprised to receive a visitor – a large white hen strutted through the patio doors, gave us that cock-eyed look that only chickens can, clucked a greeting, then sauntered out again.
The hazards of driving NZ roads as they twist around the mountains was brought home rather graphically today. Descending the second hill after Fox Glacier on the way to Franz Josef we came across a rather shocked group of people who had just witnessed a car drive of the edge of the road down a deep ravine. The car was invisible, completely hidden in the vegetation, which no doubt cushioned the impact. Fortunately, the occupants appeared not to be seriously hurt as one was shouting up to the bystanders. As the rescue services had already been summoned we continued on our way. A sobering thought if no-one had seen the car leave the road….
Exploring Hari Hari doesn’t take long, a handful of houses, couple of farms, hundreds of cows, a shop, one hotel and service station, but we did find a short walk up through the rain forest which was delightful; full of tree ferns, cabbage trees and many other native species.