The mountains get nearerEventually I must run out of superlatives to describe this experience but by now I'm sure you get the idea.

Last night, after a close look at the weather map, I decided to make the full excursion as originally hoped for and head for the West Coast over Arthur's Pass. On the Canterbury Plains I rather began to have second thoughts as the gale force winds were pushing the bike around more than slightly.

But what a good idea it was as the passes were somewhat sheltered from the worst of the wind and the weather held for 98% of the time only drawback was the bitter cold the higher up in the mountains I got. Stopped for an excellent home made venison pie lunch at Jacksons (a pub just west of the Pass itself).

Arthurs PassA further detour around Lake Brunner and the briefest look at Greytown were in order before the real highlight, up the ruggedest of coastlines to the fabulous Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. This is really well done and a fabulous sight in the rough water conditions. Sadly it was low tide and the blowhole was only marginal but a real 'not to be missed'.

The great thing about the tail wimd is that you get to listen to the soundtrack, nothing like a big single, even if it's not a Matchless or a Velocette!

A final side trip to the aptly named Cape Foul Wind and it's seal colony and the bike must just about be out of fuel on arrival in Westport. Worse yet there's something on in town so there is a shortage of accommodation but I've found a clean but basic motel.

Dinner was be interesting, pubs full and plainly the town being busy was a surprise to them! Finally found a cafe (there are not that many to choose from and an excellent venson bangers and mash. The waitress was on her own and you had to feel sorry for her. Another of those couples who don't talk to each other in front of me in the cafe, what a way to live!

Cold here tonight. The guage i the street says 10C but no way. The locals don't belive it as the coal smoke is thick in the air. Not as quite thick as it seemed once I washed my glasses and got the salt spray off!