The final day of our trip to the West Coast, we stopped at Shantytown, a historic village, for several hours. I didn’t take many pictures there, because I had gotten to the point where I mainly needed to sit. Here are a few, though. One of the first things we did was to ride the steam train. They take you on about a 20-minute ride, back into the bush, then back. Most people got off on the way back at the restored sawmill, then toured the gold-mining area. I opted to go back to the village where I could sit and wait.
While I was waiting, I amused myself watching Oriental (probably Japanese) tourists taking picture after picture of each other and themselves, and watching this weka go in and out of building after building.
We also did the touristy kind of things—posing the boys in a stagecoach and playing around at the jail. The boys shoved their daddy into the jail—but a couple of them got locked in with him! Right to left, this is Seth, James, Nathan, Simon, Elijah, and Joseph.
This is Seth, Nathan, and Elijah, with Joseph just visible inside the jail to the left.The two youngest enjoyed this play fire engine!And then, we were on the road again! We had originally planned to camp in the mountains that night and arrive home the next day, but the weather was cold and damp and we decided to push on for home. Towing a camper up Arthur’s Pass is a slightly risky proposition, with a 16% grade for several miles, but we made it. The van did heat up (we have some kind of radiator problem at the moment), so we stopped at an overlook at the top to cool off. That afforded quite a view of the Otira Viaduct, which we had just crossed.
There were a lot of keas at the overlook. They are a wild mountain parrot, but not afraid of anything—and they love to eat rubber and plastic! We had to ward them off the open windows of the van so they wouldn’t eat the weatherstripping, but they did manage to eat part of the skylight of the camper. Naughty birds!
And then, we were over the Pass and on the dry side of the island. The scenery on this side is much different! This top picture is Castle Hill. We had hoped to stop there, but it was getting too late.
And, one more picture from the West Coast that I didn’t get stuck in anywhere else. As we drove the highway along the coast south of Hokitika, I was amazed at the trees. It was so obvious that the prevailing wind is from the sea!
And speaking of wind, we arrived home to find damage from strong winds while we were gone. The chimney above the kitchen had fallen on the roof, and broken the light directly below it, and a row of willow trees lost their tops. One tree fell on this shed. The fellows spent the day after we got home fixing broken things and cutting wood.