I woke up as Heino was already awake and up, and when I asked him about the dream/the cows/the earthquake, he told me it was for real. Such an experience, I just wish I had been more awake!
This would be my resting day, so I was thinking of making an 8 kilometres walking trip in the area, and to visit the Pancake Rocks and the caves. When we were already packed up, Michael came back to meet us in the morning. He informed us about the earthquake (the americans says it was 7.8 – lucky for us, on the east coast, north of Christchurch). I asked him about staying at his place tonight, as we spoke about it yesterday, and he was living 10 kilometres south. Would be a good place to stay at, and getting in the right direction!
So I went up to the information centre, logged into Facebook, replied to people asking if I was dead and asked about leaving my bags there during the day. The first stop afterwards would be the Pancake Rocks, on the opposite side of the road!
Apparently they formed 30 million years ago, from dead animals and plants 2 kilometres below the surface. When high tide and rough sea there would be water sprouting up from them, but it was pretty calm when I was there. Still an extraordinary view.
The next destination would be down hill just north of the information centre. It was a cool visit, and I met some americans in there as well.
My next plan was to do the walk along the Pororari river, and then continuing on the Inland Pack Track back to the road. It was in total eleven kilometres, but I figured I would be able to hitchhike back to the start.
I stopped for lunch and bathroom break at the Punakaiki Tavern, and left my bicycle outside as I started the walk. It was supposed to take a total of three hours, with the first part being 1 hour 15 minutes; I arrived at the junction after 45 minutes already. Halfway through I felt something in my bad right knee, but it went away again.
After the junction it took much longer time. As I didn’t bring a water bottle to save weight, I stopped by a small stream to drink some water.
It started to rain, but as I didn’t want to carry it all around, I had left my rain jacket as well. Not a problem, though; as long as I moved, I was keeping more than warm!
When reaching what would be the highest point of the track, I saw what looked like a kind of track going even higher. My curiosity didn’t let my walk away, and I started walking, almost climbing, through bushes, trees and above stones. It went really slow, being a pretty thick forest, but I managed! It was not possibly to get a good view, though; too many trees, and too cloudy.
On my way back to the track I managed to almost lose myself. I certainly didn’t walk the same way, at least. It was lots of fun!
I think I could see the place where we camped the night before. You would need high resolution pictures and zoom in to see anything, but there it is!
After completing the rest of the walk, and walking out the same path I biked out this morning, same horses and all, I was at the road again. I didn’t want to walk on asphalt, and after reaching my thumb out, the first car passing by stopped to pick me up. They were one Norwegian and two Finnish girls, so suddenly we had a Scandinavian road trip! They were actually only going two kilometres farther than where I had left my bike, but it was perfect for me!
I biked to the information centre, loaded my bike and started the short trip to Michaels place. It ended with a really steep road up to the house, but that would give me a nice view from the room I would be staying in, as well as the howling sound of the small storm going on outside.
It was a really pleasant evening, and I got time to update my blog and start looking into what petrol kitchen I would get, as I would travel up to the northern part of Sweden for one week just one and a half weeks after arriving at home.
Michaels parents treated me vegan dinner as well, and eating something made in a real kitchen was amazing! Potatoes made in the oven together with a chick pea salad, and something I still don’t know the Swedish name of (if you are reading this, Michael, please tell me English word of the vegetable/whatever it was)! After yesterdays earthquake, there were still some aftershocks, which made the whole house wobble a bit.