This blog has been stuck up a creek down the Coast for a few weeks now. It’s time to get us out of there. We’d had a great week exploring and enjoying the West Coast, and were on our way south. After a walk at Ship Creek, we continued south to Haast and across the longest one-way bridge. We’ve never had to figure out how the passing bays work with an 8m truck and that’s OK. As the day went on the sky got clearer and heading inland up the Haast River we got to see more of the mountains.
It’s quite a way up-river to Pleasant Flat, where the road crosses the river and where there’s a DoC camp we’d usually passed by. This time we decided to stop and stay for the night; our last on the West Coast. It’s a lovely location, but whoever named it ‘Pleasant’ must have been immune to sandflies. We felt safe inside our insect screens, and it was a nice view.
The camp is on the edge of the bush, and there is a lovely little walk to the nearby stream to get a sample of the forest.
Wyn retired to declare war on the sandflies that had infiltrated Suzi motorhome’s defences. I wandered off (to the sound of muffled thumps and bangs) to check out the Haast Rive and the views down-valley towards Mt Hooker. At 2,652 meters high it is quite an imposing sight.
It’s also quite an imposing climb. While finding out the height figure for Mt Hooker, I came across a great ‘blast from the past‘ account by Donald Lousley of an unsuccessful attempt back in the 1970s. I was involved in a far more unsuccessful mid-winter attempt also back in the 1970s. With Dave Craw, Owen Cambridge and Peter McKellar, we started up the Paringa and got no further than Tunnel Creek where we created a rock bivvy and saw a morepork; those were the highlights.
Wyn’s sandfly slaughter was successful, and we enjoyed our last evening on the West Coast watching the fading light on Mt Hooker. The weather was closing in which was no surprise. The sandflies are excellent weather forecasters and they knew that rain was coming. We slept well with the sound of rain on the roof. Next morning we retreated east, across Haast Pass and back to the land of few sandflies.