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Gaby and I wanted to take Nelda to the West Coast before she left for home at the end of January, so, on the third weekend of January we packed our bags and traveled west over Arthur’s Pass to Hokitika. Of course the weather forecast was for rain – lots of rain, but we didn’t let the weather dampen our spirits!

As we headed west on State Highway 73 out of Christchurch, we stopped before heading into the mountains to enjoy the scenery.

I gained an audience gathered from a nearby paddock. Cows always seem to be quite curious. I have to admit, it’s sometimes a bit nerve wracking to have all these critters just looking at you, as though they can read your mind… Or, they may just think that you might feed them.

From Hokitika we took a drive around nearby Lake Kaniere and stopped to see the picturesque Dorothy Falls, just off the road. The waters which drain off the valleys acquire a reddish tint from the plant material.

Just opposite the road from the short walking track to Dorothy Falls is a track which leads to the shore of Lake Kaniere. We decided to take Nelda to the lakeshore for a look. The bush was thick and shady along the track.

Large tree ferns made me think of remnant forest of a distant past. I half expected to see therapods wandering through the bush.

After about half a kilometer of easy walking track we reached the scenic shore of Lake Kaniere.

Nelda took her colorful purse with her wherever we went. She was seldom seen without it. She made up for the dull and dreary West Coast weather.

One last destination on our wee driving tour was to see the Hokitika Gorge and Swingbridge. The waters which course through the gorge have a wonderful greenish blue cast.

We enjoyed the swingbridge for a while, then continued on down to the river to take a look.

The scenery is great. We would have spent more time there except the biting flies found us.

We had to do a bit of scrambling to reach the scenic spots.

We stayed overnight in Hokitika and the next day drove north along the West Coast to Charleston and back over Arthur’s Pass. It rained just about the entire time, but we had heaps of fun.

The constant rain made it a bit difficult to get out and walk, but we did manage a cook’s driving tour along a fair bit of the West Coast. We enjoy visiting the West Coast and look forward to our next trip there.

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