Nicholas Quirke was annoyed with himself. He had a long drive ahead of him and he had woken from the comfort of the night late. He did not not leave the rather pleasant surroundings of the resort till 11am. He hit the road to Wanaka and realised he hadn’t filled up with petrol so he had to return to Arrowtown. At the petrol pump he chatted with a guy from Swansea who had moved to New Zealand 25 years ago, “you’ve been to Swansea”, he said “There was nothing for me there”. The journey through the Alpine Route was astonishing and he was barely on the road but he was stopping to photograph the outstanding sights from up the mountain. He admonished himself and tried to get a move on. At Wanaka he picked up another hitch hiker Frederick, a German boy who was also headed for Greymouth. Nicholas was again pleased to have an entertaining, interesting companion for his trip, who also wanted to see the sights, Wanaka and Hayes lakes, Fox Glacier and anything along the route that caught the eye. They stopped to absorb many sights, including FanTail Falls and the coast. With no breakfast and no lunch he was starting to feel hungry and when they stopped for lunch and a short break, the only cafe was closed and he had to make do with a bag of vegan friendly crisps when the refuelled. It was very disappointing to discover the road to Fox Glacier was closed and they were unable to access it other than via helicopter, an expense too far. Nicholas had a deadline to book into his hotel in Greymouth by 8pm and they still had a 2 hour journey ahead of them which started to put the pressure on at 6 pm. It didn’t stop them from checking out Bryan Bay but it meant a photo only opportunity for the impressive Franz Josef Glacier which Frederick was intending to sky dive onto. It was time to put the foot down and speed to their destination, navigating potential hazards such as railway crossings, slow trucks, police and slow winding roads. They arrived at the motel to find it closed. Fortunately for Frederick the campsite was next door and the said farewell but Nicholas had to call out the Manager. They had no booking for him and when he checked the confirmation he could see that it had gone through for the 20th. No Room free in Town. Nicholas had to resort to a bed in hostel dormitory In Punakaiki Conveniently a destination he was headed to in the morning for the Pancake Rocks. When he got to go he hostel Toby, a Star Trek loving landlord thought there was no bed for him, fortunately there was a cancellation. he shared the room with 3 girls and a guy and he slept on the top bunk.
Loving you picking up hitchhikers, the hostel sounds like a dream 😂 x