“Now let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild west. A state that’s untouchable like Elliot Ness,” – Dr. Dre on the first verse of “California Love.”
The West Coast of the South Island is a place of great beauty. Unfortunately people miss a lot of it, hurrying past it on their way to Wanaka or Nelson. I am one of those people. Whenever I visit the West Coast, it’s on my way to somewhere else. I have seen the major attractions: Fox and Franz Joseph glacier. Speeding through in two days.
The West Coast is too magnificent to just take two days to visit.
There is nothing better than dedicating a weekend to rest from all the hard work that I have been doing. Life is hard for me, spending my time baking and being creative. So we decided to drive a mere 4 hours south-west to Hokitika and visit Stephan and Robin. Two brothers renovating a house.
They have taken on an enormous project. There is so much to do. Not only does the house have a leaking roof, the windows need to be replaced and the floors and ceilings need to be rebuilt.
I am not a builder so for me it all looks like the place should be up for demolition. This would have probably been the case if not for our friends and their enthusiasm. Making a dump into a livable house. Good for them! I admire people who can transform derelicts into awesome.
Hokitika is also a hotspot for finding greenstone jade. There are a few rivers that transport the Greenstone from the mountains to the ocean, leaving some for us to find on the banks. This is our plan for the afternoon. First a quick walk down the Hokitika gorge.
We head out to the beach in an overcast afternoon.
Finding Greenstone is a bit tricky. There is a great abundance of green stones, most of them not Greenstone though.
I have no idea what raw Greenstone looks like. Hence I am not very successful finding one. My pocket is filled with green stones, none of them a Greenstone unfortunately. I get frustrated and abandon my hunt, now focusing my attention on everything else but green stones.
I find some colorful pebbles and driftwood, which are now piled up on our deck. Wondering now why I took them home with me, as I always do when I collect rocks. Must be some ancient hunter and gatherer reflex that makes me search for useless, heavy objects and then keep them somewhere in storage, just in case I need them later.
We make a quick stop on Sunday at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks before heading back home. These delicious rocks stick out of the ocean and give many a tourist an “Oooh” and “Aaah” (I definitely did).
Back home now, I am still wondering what to do with the pebbles and driftwood I have collected. I have seen some people do some excellent DIY projects with drift wood. But I am currently occupied by making a bed from scratch. So the bounty of this weekends trip is waiting somewhere in a dusty corner until the day I find some use for it.