The Sunday after Christmas, we went to church in Reefton. We had a friend with us, a young woman whose family we spend a lot of time with. She had never been to Pancake Rocks, so we decided to take her there. Since we were in Reefton, we drove to the coast via the Buller Gorge, which she had also never been through. We hadn’t been through there in several years, either, so it was fun to see that beautiful place again.
There is some farmland along the Buller, where the valley widens out enough. The colors were so vivid that day!
This place is always fun to see, where a single lane has been carved out of the highway. It may be hard to believe, looking at this picture, but about a month or a month and a half ago, when we had a lot of rain, the level of the water was up to the road there at the cut-out! I saw a picture online of the floodwaters swirling around the guardrail.
We stopped at a roadside picnic table to eat lunch, and went down to the river. See how the grass is laid over, way above the level of the water? That’s where the water was, when the river was in flood!
There was a small, beautiful creek there.
When we reached Westport, we turned south and drove along the coast. This was the first time I’ve ever seen the mountains along this route; the other times we went through there, they were covered in clouds.
There was no action in the blowholes at Pancake Rocks, since the sea was so calm. We got some good family pictures, though! Here I am with my beautiful daughters.
Unfortunately, we chose too shady a spot for our family picture. We’ll have to try again another time.
The Nikau palms were in bloom.
We got a picture of Gayle with our handsome (?—look at Simon!) sons.
The second (or third or fourth) try went better. What clowns!
The next day, before our friend went home, the children walked with her down to where the Ahaura and the Grey rivers come together.
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