Tuesday October 30, 2012, 37 miles (60 km) – Total so far: 552 miles (888 km)
We finally left Westport at 9am after a leisurely breakfast and topping off the tires at the local Firestone Auto Shop. Since yesterday was such a long day we really were not in a riding mood but didn’t want to stay in Westport another night. Our goal was the Punakaiki Beach Backpackers for a two night rest. We encountered steep hills but when we finally made it to the coast the view was amazing. What a beautiful area of New Zealand! We had heard that the west coast was one of the most popular rides here and we could see why. It was beautiful as we rode along this South Pacific paradise. As we continued to ride the hills we completely forgot about how tired we were and just continued this awesome ride. After lunch at a scenic picnic spot we descended the last hill and arrived at another slice of paradise. The Punakaiki Backpacker is directly on the beach. We are staying in the front twin cottage with beautiful views and the sounds of the crashing waves.
Shortly after we arrived a Canadian couple also arrived from Westport. They had left an hour after us. We enjoyed dinner and conversation with them at the one and only tavern. It was fun swapping New Zealand “tales from the road”. We continued to enjoy their company back at the hostel kitchen and dining room area late into the night. What a fine ride today. Tomorrow has been declared a rest day after 5 straight days on the road.
Riding through a half tunnel on the way to Westport: