St. Arnaud to Westport
Wowza! A lot has happened since our attempt to “fix Vandalf once and for all”, but I’ll keep it brief-ish.
When we met with the car part’s guy in Nelson, he hunted for a distributor for almost 5 hours! We, of course, were chilling in the library waiting for the wonderful phone call telling us he found the part and is ready to fix it up! Well, turns out, Nissan didn’t ship new parts to NZ for our vehicle. At all. So began the fun journey of calling junkyards and car part places in search of this little part (Otherwise we would have to ship it here for over $1,000. Nope.) in order to make it a bit cheaper for our minuscule wallets. So, after a lot of calls, Seth (my vivacious, blonde hero) found the part in Christchurch for significantly less than $1,000! So we got that shipped to Greymouth (pronounced the way it looks, fun fact) and slowly started making our way there! Hurray!
On our way back down, we stopped back at Nelson Lakes National Park in St. Arnaud to hike 2 hours up Mt. Roberts to Bushline Hut! It was an exhausting hike going up to the hut. So much (especially with everything you need for that night and the next day on your back). The view, though, was well worth the hike. SO BEAUTIFUL. I could’ve stayed up there for days (but we would’ve ran out of food so maybe not). We did a loop track, so the way back to the van involved going up to the top of the ridge before descending back to the lake. Ya’ll. It was so windy up there. We were almost getting blown over just attempting to walk up there! Probably the strongest wind I’ve experienced to date (Seth also thinks this, so I must not be too crazy). Definitely one of the hardest and prettiest hikes we’ve done so far.
From there we made our way down to Westport and spent a couple days bumming around there. We parked on a beach the first day and (other than a few locals) we had the joint to ourselves! It’s going to be so weird to be back in the U.S. and have people all over the beaches when we rarely have more than a family or two with us on most beaches here. On the second day, it was pretty rainy, so we walked around town a bit, and eventually got some coffee and (of course) went to the library to catch up on America and the people we know in it. We’ll be in Greymouth by Monday (if Vandalf allows) and hopefully have good news regarding him soon!
Korero wake ki a koe (talk to you soon in Maori. I’m learning stuff)