It’s a riding day today. We need to get from Hokitika to Mt Lyford. It’s a 4 hour ride, but as we only really need to get from A to B, we decide to head to Hokitika Gorge for a walk.
It’s an easy 30 minute walk, along a well maintained path, through forest, with lots of viewing platforms to stop and admire the view. The track snakes it’s way along, following the gorge. Not long into the walk, we get our first proper look at the gorge from a viewing platform.
It’s stunning. The water is a gorgeous, milky, turquoise blue. I am sure it’s probably quite fast flowing, but the water isn’t wild and raging like I had expected.
It feels peaceful.
Kereru (native wood pigeon) are swooping through the gorge, birds are chattering away and I can hear the sounds of the leaf litter and gravel beneath my feet. The sounds of the forest.
Along the walk we come to two swing bridges. The first holds up to 6 people at a time. It crosses over the gorge and swings about a bit in the air, but not too much. I am ok with this height. My knees aren’t buckling and I am able to get some excellent, uninterrupted views out across the gorge.
The second bridge is much newer. It can hold up to 20 people and doesn’t really move around. Daniel pauses for a while to admire it’s structure and foundations. I am sure if left him to take all the photos, the majority would be of structures, cranes and fancy cars. (We have a lot of motorbike photos from our Italy trip, and Daniel’s photo of the Colosseum is actually of some construction work with the Colosseum in the background!)
It’s quite a warm day. The downside to travelling on a motorbike is having to do the walk in all our protective gear, along with carrying our helmets, as we don’t have enough luggage space to store it with the bike. It’s a rather sweaty walk. But soon enough we are back on the bike and that cools me down pretty quickly. We have a long ride a head of us so we jump back on the motorbike and make our way to Greymouth for lunch.
It’s amazing the difference that weather makes to a place. The last time we stayed in Greymouth, the weather was very dreary, grey and bleak. I didn’t think much of the place. Today the sun is shining, Greymouth is sun kissed and seems rather nice.
We continue our journey, we are heading East, taking The Lewis Pass to get there. We travel through forest and I can smell it. Damp, earthy and fresh. Amazing. I love the way travelling by motorbike allows you to interact with your surrounding and environment, much more so than in a car.
We follow the river for a while and then the road turns up into the hills. Its a really quiet road. It’s normally quite a popular one I believe but with no international tourism at the moment, we have the whole road to ourselves! It’s nice not having to worry about meeting other vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road (which does seem to happen a bit in popular tourist destinations here.)
We arrive at My Lyford, a lodge nestled into the hills. 5 minutes later I am in the spa pool, soaking away the aches from a long ride. Dinner is at the lodge but we decide to have a few pre-dinner drinks over a few games of pool. We are both as bad as each other but it’s an enjoyable and relaxed way to spend the evening.