6pm Jack’s Gasthof pizzeria and camp, little Totara river SH 6.
There is a pattern emerging here, I am following a long days cycling with a shorter one. I haven’t even reached Charlestown never mind Punakaiki!
I’ve just arrived in Germany! This place is owned by a German family and there are books, signs, menus and speaking in German as I wait for my pizza (which admittedly is not German ).
I didn’t get away until 12.30 because I met Terry at the hotel. Terry is amazing, he is a fountain of knowledge on all the conspiracy theories in the world. I’d only gone in to the lounge for a last look and there was Terry. We started innocently enough on the gallery at the hotel enabling local artists to display their works,one artist was into runes and markings of ancient civilisations. we then launched into the secret document being withheld by the NZ government which proves that the Maori were not the first settlers in New Zealand. It purports that Artefacts and mummified remains of pre Maori settlers have been found at over 250 sites. There were red haired Maori in the Nelson area before Tasman and Cook arrived, Portuguese mapping of the north island was produced in the 14th century at least when 4 year trading voyages were the norm, and Maori legends talk of clever white ghosts in the land. Terry then relayed non publically accessible recorded historical data that defies common understanding of China having the most advanced early civilisation because “Egyptian” like pyramids were there before the earliest dynasty reputedly bringing us writing and gunpowder etc. Vikings had settled in America and at least had been stranded in South America. We moved on to a whole range of other withheld “black ops” US knowledge including on the whereabouts of the missing Malaysian plane, as their satellites can see the whites of our eyes from 90,000 feet up. How all the internet is monitored and articles including his own gets deleted. Terry is a teacher and has been teaching in Turkey and Indonesia for over 20 years before he recently returned to Westland
where he is looking for work. He’s a bit jaded at not getting work at the local school, so is acting as a tour guide at the coal museum in
Charlestown until something comes up. He cited his own government colluding with the Chinese who they are in debt to. The cement works here in Westport will be closing in 2 years despite the reconstruction of Christchurch because all the cement is coming from China. He talked about all the money being taken out of the west coast. Hardly a cent has come back into the local economy be it from the gold rush, logging or coal. Even the abundant west coast fish are being processed in Nelson by NZ fisheries or on board by foreign trawlers. There wasn’t a subject Terry didn’t know some sort of political or corporate manipulation fact and that only when you are freed from being a wage slave can you begin to realise the wool is being pulled under our eyes. I haven’t relayed half the stuff I was bombarded with. While some of these topics were worthy of further analysis this global pandemic scale was all getting a bit heavy and I began to Iose the will. Somehow I extricated myself and Terry went back to his internet research. Phew! I was pleased that Rex is a man of few words.
Having sampled the delights of Westport earlier ( I’d walked to the
fisherman’s wharf and can verify that fish are at least being offloaded here in Westport, barracuda were being salted by a few old salty workers),used the internet in the library which is no longer in the beautiful art Deco building for some reason. There was a very impressive “Municipal Chambers”art deco building too from the early 1900’s so was some real pride in the town going way back. The coal museum looked modern and impressive but i didn’t partake. The town also looked a bit run down in parts with vacated buildings commonplace. Visited New World again for more supplies.
Anyway, I headed out of town for Cape Foulwind which the naming of turns out to be ascribed to Captain Cook who had tried to make a landing during bad weather and after days of this had said something about being thwarted by winds most foul. So there you go. Even the long drop at the carpark didn’t smell much, at least not until after I’d used it.
Had a walk up to the lighthouse and a bit beyond and exchanged pleasantries with people also doing the ” winds most foul” circuit. The seal colony was another 5km so headed there. The colony was visible from a viewing point quite a way up so couldn’t really see or smell them up close. There were about a dozen I could see including quite a few pups.
Next stop was a cafe near the seal colony as I’d run out of water and by time I’d had my lashing of Bundenburg ginger beer it was after 4pm. Whoa,where did the day go? I was feeling pretty tired in both the knees and thighs (and tender too) and recalculated my likely destination as
>Charlestown about 32km more than the piffling 16km I’d done thus far.
The weather has turned a bit with low brooding clouds but fortunately no rain and headwinds. I plodded along very steadily and then came across this place. 6 dollars a night to camp is pretty good and the comfort of this restaurant for a while has been great. Just had a very tasty diabolo pizza with a bottle of becks.
I’m going to have an early night tonight and get off earlier as I have left myself a tougher day to Greymouth tomorrow. Guessing I’ve done about 45km today but seeing as don’t really know where I am will check and verify!