We woke up to overcast skies and it wasn’t long before it was rain was falling. We had hoped to get up early and see the sun rise over a lake, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Our next stop was to be Franz Josef Glacier, but again the weather made hiking in to see it difficult so we kept driving north and toward the west coast of the South Island.
By lunch time we found ourselves in Hokitika – a gold mining town. We decided to walk around town and look in some shops. Today was my birthday and Tim was encouraging me to pick out a present from New Zealand. The first stop was a glass blowing shop. They had beautiful pieces, but truthfully, after just packing up the house in Dallas, I don’t want more knick knacks in my life.
The next shop we visited was a jewelry store specializing in jewelry made from locally mined gold. We found a small sterling silver pendant filled with tiny gold nuggets. I decided that it would make a good souvenir and it’s easy to pack! So i picked out one and we went on our way.
We wanted fish and chips for lunch and checked the restaurant next door to the jewelry store. The fish and chips were $20/plate which was too much. So we stopped a teenager and her grandmother and asked where we should go for fish and chips. They sent us to a small shop on the beach front.
The total bill for the three of us was about the same as one plate at the other restaurant. This shop didn’t accept our debit card so we had to go to an ATM and get some cash. We have been in New Zealand for more than a week and today was the first time we had to get cash. Pretty incredible.The fish and chips were yummy and we enjoyed sitting in our car and eating lunch.
On the road, we drove along until we came to the “Pancake Rocks”. We got there just at dusk. From there we drove on to Westport where we are staying in a backpacker’s lodge for the night.