We were very surprised to wake up and find it wasn't raining this morning as it was forecast to do so, but don't be disheartened, it didn't stay dry for long. We went back to Punakaiki to make the most of the high tide and we enjoyed watching the water crash through the blow holes. Afterwards Dan had a coffee in the visitor centre cafe and we quickly checked our email before heading down the road.
No sooner had we started driving did the rain start and it didn't let up the entire day. The journey down the coast to Greymouth was very atmospheric, with the mist making the sea look quite moody, although the waves weren't as rough as yesterday.
We pulled into Greymouth and stopped at the i-Site (that's Tourist Information Centre for you Brits) and asked about walks along Arthur's Pass. There were a couple of short walks to waterfalls, bet you can't guess what one of them was called?? Yep, Bridal Veil Falls. I think this will be the sixth waterfall we will see of that name. So original!! I'm going to write a book on Waterfall Names when I get home to help these National Parks choose unique names!
We took the Lake Brunner Road inland towards Arthur's Pass and drove through another scenic reserve. We stopped for lunch at Lake Brunner. We had read that this was a beautiful lake which reflects the spectacular mountain backdrop. What mountains? All we could see was mist, cloud, rain and dark water which was cut off by the mist within five metres! Just remind me why people want to emigrate to this country? The Lake District doesn't get this amount of rain!!!
We drove on and ended up on Arthur's Pass Road, which climbed very steeply into snow, which had thankfully been cleared off the road. We could just make out fierce waterfalls high up on either side of the valley, all thankful for the volume of water they had received in the last few days. It was a difficult drive and I was grateful we were not in a big transit van, or one of the many lorries we passed, having to negotiate hair pin bends in horrible conditions.
We came to the village and sat in the van, debating whether to get absolutely soaked or not. We looked at what we had planned for the next couple of days and realised we could take our time if we wanted to so we made the choice to camp up and spend the rest of the miserable afternoon doing something constructive (like this!) whilst we waited for the weather to pass and clear like it is forecast to do (fingers crossed!) and will try to walk again tomorrow.