Karamea to Greymouth
After Westport, we decided we might as well go as far north as we could on the west coast, so we went up to Karamea and did a walk to the Oparara Arch, and a walk called the Fenian Track which took us to 2 caves that we could freely explore, and one that the trail went through! Let me tell ya, NZ tracks are crazy. There is no way that a track like the Fenian would exist in the U.S. National Parks. It was pretty grown over, and in the cave, we had a doozie of a time getting up a 6 foot water fall (trickle) without slipping and hurting ourselves (or each other). After those walks, we had our first real showers, that were not in a river or lake, since Wellington ( 20 days ago folks, 20 days.)
On our way down from Karamea, we stopped on Cape Foulwind to catch a glimpse of a seal colony which was pretty cool! There were babies! It was so stressful to watch them attempt to go from rock to rock, and slide down into random crevices when they did not succeed, but still, so cute. We also stopped at the Pancake Rocks which were super cool rock formations, but my golly, it was way to touristy for our liking! People everywhere! Needless to say we scurried through there pretty quickly, but we were glad we stopped by!
From there we made our way down to Greymouth, where we were hoping to get our poor Vandy fixed. Before we got into town, we remembered that we knew that the Roper fam owned an Atv company around there. We talked to them once when their daughter graduated from Rosedale about wanting to visit NZ someday, not knowing we would actually do it. We happened to drive right by their place and decided to stop in and be creepy people from Ohio that remembered meeting them once 4 years ago. They were just the nicest, especially since we stopped in and disrupted their day. They gave us a tour of their property and Petra took us around Greymouth. We also joined them for church the next day which was such a neat experience! We were very glad we decided to stop!
Next step was getting our van fixed. Thankfully, our distributor we ordered made it! However, when the mechanic put it in and had us drive it, it was 2,347% worse. We didn’t know if we would make it a mile away to our campsite. He told us to bring it back if it was worse, so we did. Bless his heart, he worked on it for most of the next day as well and figured out it was the wiring connected to the distributor and not the distributor itself. So he popped our old one back in with the new wires, and Vandalf is running like a dream (as much as a van from 2001 can)! So we got a refund for the crappy distributor, went and had a fire on the beach, and all is right with the world.