BAC New Zealand - 2015
February 17 - Westport to Greymouth And Pancakes For Lunch
Not really. We didn't have pancakes for lunch. I will explain later. As usual, I was the last rider on the road today. It was a sunny, cool morning. Our route went south on the Great Coastal Highway. At first, I could not see the ocean. Pretty soon, though, it came into view and was on our right for most of the day.
I would like to say that it looked like the California coast, but it was similar only for the terrain. If you have ridden the California coast you know that there are many extreme rollers. Lots of ups and downs and very few flat runs. As you can see in the photo on the left, the flora was quite different than California. There were lots of ferns and palm trees.
The highlight of the day was the Pancake Rocks. These are unusual rock formations next to the sea that look like packed pancakes. Most everyone on the ride took the nature walk to see them.
I also spent some time at the Pancake Rocks Café across from the walk eating a yummy mint brownie and drinking a cappuccino instead of eating a real lunch. This was a congregation point for our riders and for several tour buses. There were lots of people there that we didn't trust with our bicycles and equipment out in plain sight. We worked a system were one of us would watch the bikes while others went on the walk.
I left the café with the French Connection. I lost them at the first climb. Germain usually stayed on my wheel, but this time he decided to stay back. I leapfrogged with them a couple of times. I had to stop and eat my sandwich when the empty calories from my brownie wore off. After I was rolling again, I saw them doing the same thing at the side of the road.
The spectacular scenery continued on the ocean side as well as the inland side.
I arrived at 3:30 in Greymount and checked into the Revingtons Hotel. (I tried to insert the original link to this hotel that we were given before the ride. It is now invalid. Maybe the hotel is closed. Please read the TripAdvisor reviews to see if that makes sense).
The Revingtons Hotel is a old-style hotel with very basic rooms. An Irish pub is on the ground floor and all of the rooms are on the next floor. Ann and I lucked out and were assigned to The Queen's Room. It is the only room with a king sized bed. The hotel is going through a period of renovation and parts of our room have roughed-in walls. One of our tour members was strolling through the ground floor looking at old photos on the wall when he saw one where Queen Elizabeth II was standing on our balcony with the Duke of Edinburgh waving to the crowd on the street below. Hence the name the Queen's Room. So, several people in our group had to go through our room onto the balcony to recreate the royal moment.
We had dinner at a small restaurant close to the hotel. Ann and I both had a Moroccan lamb salad.
When the Queen's Room tour was over, we shut our door and closed down for the night.