Pancakes & Pass

This Friday dawned in the midst of the fern trees and the nikau palms.
The rain clouds had moved on and right after an early breakie we hit the road and drove to Punakaiki, also known as Pancake Rocks.
The place is a limestone landscape of pancake-shaped rock formations, blowholes and surge pools
It looks especially impressive in sunshine and when the tide is at its highest. When the powerful waves break against the rocks, water is pressed upwards via cavities in the limestone rocks and forced out at the top through a couple of narrow "blowholes".
It is indeed fascinating to witness how the massive forces of the ocean work on the coast to slowly reduce rocks to pebbles.
After the pancakes we travelled via Greymouth to the inland Alpine country around Arthur's Pass ...
... (named after Arthur Dudley Dobson who pioneered and surveyed this route between the west coast and the east coast).
Our afternoon was spent tramping through the most wonderful and mossy forest with a definite magical touch to it.

A Tomtit was one of the few avian inhabitants in the mystical forest.
Red, white and blue berries added to the magic.

At the end of a super-active field day we stopped at our only choice for a nearby overnight accommodation:
The Otira Stagecoach Hotel, an unorthodox place that I dubbed "Gollum Lodge".
The big house is absolutely stuffed with very peculiar items, mostly kitschy collectables from bygone ages.
Just one example: A collection of Thomas Crapper's super-flush devices from the 1890s. Maybe, that's what the hotel host meant when he told us that there were only shared toilets.
. . .
The dinner tonight was "interesting", so will the night, no doubt, be in our quirky room.
Tomorrow we will be going via Castle Hill to Christchurch.