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Thread: Greymouth

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Dereham, Norfolk, today...


    8th February 2017

    Yesterday's day off the bike was exactly what I needed. I sleep well and wake at 0700 feeling great.

    I'm not hungry, so start the day by taking the panniers off the bike and backing it out of its parking slot. It has to be said, it went in a lot easier...

    The forecast is for a dry day with sunny intervals and the temperature is already a comfortable 64°F...

    By the time I've farted about getting showered, kitted up and have the luggage organised into a more logical manner, it's just after 0900. I turn right out of the motel car park, heading west with the beach on my right.

    At the first roundabout - to my consternation - my left mirror swings back and hits my arm. I think I may have bashed it whilst moving the bike this morning. Spotting a tyre place to the right (a sort of Kwik-Fit), I pull over and Mark kindly loans me an allen key from his tool kit and I tighten the offending mirror back up

    I also learn, whilst waiting for Mark to finish a conversation, that a 'Hubbie' is a wheel mounted odometer fitted to trucks in New Zealand (I'm making a habit of asking what any term I'm not familiar with means). So now you know...


    The land to my left, between the coast and the first range of hills, seems to be dedicated to growing fruit crops - in this pic grapes, but I see signs for a variety of fruit - including avocados...

    The sky is spectacularly chaotic over the hills to my left. I ride at a comfortable 90-100kph - life is good...

    Regulars will have noticed a paucity of barn pics. Regrettably, the building material of choice here seems to be corrugated iron - which doesn't make an old barn as photogenic as its wooden cousin...

    After a few more kilometres, my attention is drawn to a roadside café...



    The chips were the result of a miscommunication - but, in fairness, not one I laboured to put right...

    "Eggs Benny", or Eggs Benedict, is a staple on breakfast menus here - although the bacon and lack of spinach suggests they are using the recipe as a guide, rather than a rule. Accompanied by what is becoming my favourite coffee - a Flat White...

    ...I leave the café full to the brim.

    They have some brilliant pieces of art on the wall...

    They are made from papier-maché...

    ...and are remarkably detailed - the eyes look like human glass eyes. I make a note of the website to send home, but when I try to find more it's a dead end...

    I head off towards the west coast...

    It's a gorgeous day - about 70° F and with hardly a breath of wind. The roads are quiet, well surfaced and it's difficult to imagine a better time to be on two wheels...

    There are, broadly speaking, two major roads that run the length of South Island. The A1, which runs down the east coast, has been damaged by the recent earthquake and will be out of commission until later this year. This pushes all traffic - commercial and tourist - onto the A6, on the west coast - where I am riding now. The unaccustomed increase in traffic has caused damage to the road surface and I regularly come across areas where the surface and shoulder are being repaired.

    Chap that manufactures these?


    Mind you - the signs for temporary traffic control are so polite, I can't complain...

    I ride on. It's not going to be too long a day today...

    ...although with roads like this, no distance is a particular hardship...

    Spotted this excellent chicken coop at a caravan site...

    Bridges tend to be of this simple girder design - and single-track. Priority for traffic alternates on each bridge, but there's rarely any oncoming traffic to hold me up...

    Spotted a deer farm - which means there are probably wild deer (they are sneaky bastards and escape) - I'll avoid riding at dawn and dusk (I hit a deer in 2006 - believe me, using a rifle is a much better way to kill one).

    I noticed this little collection of old English iron, rusting gently away in a field. Unfortunately I was unable to get any closer. Anyone want to take a guess?

    This flower, which looks remarkably similar to a plant I have in my garden (I think it's commonly called 'fire on the mountain' in the UK) - it lines all the roads...

    At Inangahua Junction, I decide to stop for a breather... a flat white and a blackberry and dark chocolate muffin, natch...

    What do you reckon this thing is? It looks like the innards of a steam engine...

    A little further and I encounter a set of traffic lights governing traffic through the single track through this overhang, carved out of the rock.

    Not long after this I am suddenly hit by a barrage of insects - I think I must have ridden through a bee swarm on the move, as I am absolutely pelted with insects for about ten seconds and then it clears. I can clearly smell nectar from the remains of the bugs on my visor...

    Eventually the Tasman Sea comes into sight, and the road descends to meet it...

    I pull over and take my hemet off - the surf is up and the crash of it on the rocks and beaches means there is a mist of spray hanging in the air...

    I have been passed by a number of very old vehicles coming the other way - unfortunately I was unable to extricate my camera in time to picture any of them. Whilst I'm stopped here, however, a clutch come through - any guesses?

    This one is probably my favourite - I remember these from when I was a small child in the UK...

    These were still around in the UK 20 years ago...

    ...although I can't remember last time I saw one...

    This isn't getting me closer to my hotel - let's go...

    The road is very similar to the Pacific Coast Highway in California...

    ...and is a pleasure to ride. The temperature has dropped by a few degrees, but it's still a beautiful day to be alive and riding on two wheels...

    All too soon...

    ...the road is steering slightly away from the coast, and I'm entering Greymouth, my target for tonight...

    I fuel up in town, check the tyre pressure and then head down to the Charles Court Motel...

    ...where I check into my vast room...

    ...complete with kitchen, bathroom (with Jacuzzi) and...

    Second bedroom

    I manage to smooth-talk the lovely Rachel into increasing my internet access to 3Gb from one - but alas, the upload speed is so slow that putting today's pictures on SmugMug became an exercise in frustration and futility. The journal will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, I have a long shower and reflect on what a great day it has been...

  2. #2
    Proud Tosser Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    You lucky sod !
    The old brits in the yard are Morris Oxfords I recon.

  3. #3
    Subscriber Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Jamaica Inn
    Great read Mike.

    Now that's set my day off on the wrong off to do battle with the A47 traffic

    Cars in the field Austin Cambridge and the more rare estate version.

    Cars on the road include the American looking Vauxhall Velox and a Wolsley version of the Cambridge.

    Waiting for the next instalment.

  4. #4
    le jeu des treize Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Enjoying this. Biking bliss

    As already pointed out the car in the field looks like an Austin Cambridge but it could be an MG Magnette,
    due to its shape at the front of the bonnet.
    This body was used on four different cars. Austin Cambridge, Morris Oxford, MG Magnette and Wolseley 15/60.

  5. #5 Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    South Wales
    A great read as always Mike

    The old Brit Iron in the yard, as has been said above the Mustard one could be any of the Austin Cambridge, Morris Oxford, Riley or Wolseley badge engineered variants, the colour suggests to me it's not a Riley or Wolseley, the Green estate weren't these called a Farina?
    The old Vauxhall on the coast road (dangerous place to take it given their propensity to rust away to crumbs ) is a Cresta PA I think.......

    Eggs Benedict and chips, that's a new one on me, it looked great though
    Visit our web shop for stickers/graphics/pannier wrap kits for your GS/Adventure bike
    web shop; The originals and the best
    Limited range of our products available on e-bay, our shop; humveegraphics

  6. #6
    Subscriber Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Great pics, the whole place looks fantastic.
    Last edited by oddshapedballs; 09-02-17 at 13:52. Reason: fucked it up the first time

  7. #7
    Subscriber Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Northwich Cheshire
    Quote Originally Posted by duckspeed View Post
    You lucky sod !
    The old brits in the yard are Morris Oxfords I recon.
    I wish to concur. .

    Doesn't it just make you want to be riding shotgun.
    The older I get, the faster I was.......... Dodgy Ticker!!!

  8. #8
    Subscriber Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Great pics,thanks Mike.
    Cheered me up no end��

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