Pancakes to Hokitika

March 11, 2012 by Jeramie

It was so gnarly out at Pancake Rocks that we didn’t take the camera with us, so unfortunately no pics. They were pretty damn cool, and the wooden and stone pathways they built bridging their tops were quite impressive. I have to admit though that the inclement weather took a toll on our enjoyment of them.

In addition, Zoe and I were both SERIOUSLY due for showers at this point. We weren’t that rank, but just the humidity sleeping in the van with windows closed(due to sand flies… which Zoe is at this moment writing about), and all the saltwater gathering mussels etc. was a bit much when the next day you’re cramming yourself in the stuffy van, wearing a much less than breathable rain jacket, again all day to avoid the rain.

So we moved on whining and bitching down the coast, past Greymouth(lots of hostels, none of which you can pay for a shower at) towards Hokitika. Within 30 seconds of pulling in downtown we ran into the public pool, with showers for $2.50.

We dropped in the i-site where I made the connection with the banners I recognized along the streets. The previous day had been the Wild Foods Festival. I had watched a special on it on the plane over here, and assumed we’d have no chance of finding it. Turns out if we had moved our butts we would have gotten here. The festival we later heard, has taken a commercial turn for the worse anyway, but the premise is awesome. For years it was a local festival, filled with booths manned by charities and organizations seeking fundraising (PTA type organizations etc). They served all sorts of foods I would have LOVED to try, Mountain Oysters (sheep’s balls) chef among them! Three years ago attendance hit 26,000 before they started increasing the price to have a booth, increasing ticket pricing, and cutting down the allowed booths essentially kicking out all the small businesses and organizations and turning it commercial. Sounds all too familiar.

After some tea and internet time, we skipped down and headed for a camp spot near Hokitika Gorge, for a sunny look in the morning before moving on south again.

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