Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Road tripping New Zealand, South Island between’
Marlborough and the West Coast.

We’re road-tripping in New Zealand and had no idea where we’d be when my birthday rolled around.

Buller Canyon, New Zealand’s
longest suspension bridge.

My birthday’s tomorrow. 

Couple crazies crossing the Buller’s Gorge another way.
Buller River, below the suspension bridge.

Wayne’s promised for over a year, last birthday (in Bocas del Toro) and our anniversary (in March — we were on a non-stop 32-day passage between Galapagos and the French Marquesas) that we’d celebrate with a nice dinner out, clean white sheets, queen-sized bed, and endless showers.

New Zealand’s misty “summer” coastline inspired
the 1st “motel” room in a year (for my birthday).

Today, given a forecast of 50-60 degree damp, misty “summer” temperatures and viciously fast, biting swarms of West Coast black sand flies, it was time.

Even with mediocre weather, Pancake Rocks was still pretty cool.
Beach at Pancake Rocks, New Zealand’s South Island West Coast.

“Any place you want, for your birthday, darlin'” Wayne said, “under $150 NZ.”  That would be $100 USD these days.

As we entered Greymouth, at the end of a long road trip, with another planned for tomorrow, “where’– as U2 says — t’he streets have no names” (at least the ones we were looking for listed in our guide book for lodgings) . The hotels we stopped at either weren’t hotels are weren’t going concerns.  We settled for the first place we stopped at that looked like was in business, the vibrantly purple and orange colored Duke Hostel.

Hawk’s Craig overhang on Highway 6,
bound for New Zealand’s West Coast.

“Look, honey, it’s a deluxe hostel!” Wayne exclaimed.  Uhhh, that’s Duke, I pointed out. Deluxe.  Duke,  Deluxe.  Duke.  I was right.

Hawk’s Craig, Buller River, New Zealand’s scenic Highway 6.
Duke Hostel, Greymouth, New Zealand,’s West Coast of South Island,  pilfered from their website.

Still, for $79 NZ (about $50 USD) we do have clean white sheets, a queen-sized bed, without a private bath, that at least means Wayne would look unseemly pounding on the door to the women’s showers.  Of course, in a hostel, long showers are not usually practical anyway.  Still, as Meatloaf croons, “two out of three ain’t bad,” and whilst I write this, we’re using free and speedy wifi, listening to a great local rock station. 

We’re pleasantly full after eating some yummy gluten-free pasta with tomato garlic-wine sauce with added kalamata olives and onions, that I cooked in the hostel’s super-efficient kitchen.  

While most folks dream of sailing, we are thrilled any time we’re off the boat and can enjoy more than 18″ at the foot of the bed.  The rest is a bonus.

Our room tonight at Duke’s Hostel, Greymouth New Zealand.

Location Location

We’re currently road-tripping in New Zealand until February 8, 2016.   This post is about our travel in the area South of Raglan, North Island’s West Coast.  This post* was written in Greymouth, New Zealand’s South Island, where we expect to spend about 2 weeks.  Meanwhile our boat is in Whangarei’s Town Basin Marina (S35.43.474 E174.19.599), moving to Riverside for haul out between the 1st & 2nd week of February.  

*We’re usually out of wifi range and when we’re in it, we’re often spending more time socially than on-line.   Several more catch-up posts are on the way.

Cruising by the Numbers

Last year, between December 2014 and November 2015 we sailed from Florida USA to New Zealand.  We will resume serious cruising when cyclone season ends in ~April 2016. Since arriving in New Zealand, November 21st, we’ve sailed less than 200 miles. Meanwhile, we’ve already put well over 1,500 kilometers on the car we bought just over a week ago.