We reached Route 6 on the Western coast of South New Zealand. Lonely Planet rated this “The Top 10 Drives of All Time.” It would not disappoint. Hop in partner, we are going for a ride!
On your left, ladies and gentleman, you will be bouncing in and out of the shadows of huge luminous mountain ranges. On your right, the Tasman Sea in all its blue wonder will etch your path along the coastline. The drive, my friends, is a road trippers dream. ($1.99 per liter, or around $8 per gallon)
We went rolling by acres of farms with sheep, horses and cattle. Fast approaching one lane bridges with arrows barely telling you which car has the right of way. Wild and curvy, like a taunting goddess, Rt 6 entices you…and each turn around her bend treats you with an even better view.
Have you seen the television show Top Gear? These three English Blokes race around all of god’s creation in fast cars at breakneck speeds. Today, I felt like I was in Top Gear.
Our Red Rocket 2 Ford Falcon has some punch. It also doesn’t hurt that when you are flying along the speedometer reads 120 kmh. (it just feels faster than MPH, know what I mean?) Here are some pics Nikki took from the road.
I have a few fail safe road trip rules:
1) You will always here Steve Winwood, “High Life” during the road trip, no matter how bad the radio reception is… it will at some point, blast thru your speakers.
2) When you see a funny sign, you must stop, preferably off the road, and take a picture like a gawking tourist.
3) Going Number 1 on the side of the road, regardless of gender is encouraged and will actually score you 10 road trip points…which can be used for road trip snacks like sunflower seeds, beef jerky or trucker condom machines.
4) There does not need to be a destination…when you reach it, you will know.
First beach we saw on Rt 6, we exited the vehicle in an orderly fashion and skipped off to the sand and water. Nothing like stretching your legs at a brand new ocean, and breathing in the salty air.
This drive is amazing, and gets better the more south you plummet. It reminds me a lot of Pacific Coast Highway 1 from San Francisco down to San Diego. If you have never driven this in a sports car, make it your next trip. A word of advice, however. The time PCH 1 would take to drive was grossly underestimated by yours truly. I told Nikki upon entering the rental car in California, “only 3, maybe 4 hours until San Diego, Baby!” It takes 12 hours. She did not enjoy this particular road trip as much as I did. I digress. This road trip would be different.
If you are a loyal reader (if not, become one)…you may notice I like to try and creatively name my stories. Greymouth is not a creative name, it is in fact, a small town off the West Coast of South New Zealand. It is a town you should make sure and NEVER visit. I have now driven four big islands and not had one rude or road rage instance. This streak ended in Greymouth, or as I will forever call it…Meth Town. Let me explain.
I fueled the Red Rocket. The gas dude was extremely cool, and we discussed some South New Zealand hotspots. Upon mentioning Greymouth and possibly staying the night his exact response was “mate, you need to get this petrol, get some grub and then follow your nose on down the coast.” I should have taken his hint. While driving to a bar/restaurant that he unwillingly recommended, I was sworn at three times, flipped the bird two times and horn honked anywhere from 2-3 times… depending on if you count that half a honk I received while the female driver was also simultaneously flicking me off, and her hand slipped.
Nikki informed me that I had in fact induced this angry rage by not using my turn signal. I made it clear that I, in fact had signaled by accidentally turning on my window wipers… and since I was turning into a bar, I had the right of way anyway.
As we sat outside the bar, in the down wind stench of a crumbling brewery, staring at a huge concrete floodwall, a woman obviously high on something, probably Meth strutted by. “DAMN POMS” she muttered-yelled at the tourists hovered over their fish and chips. It was time to leave town. (POMS is a slang term used to describe the English…I am American, however so I took exception to her obvious lack of research and attention to my nationality.) In Greymouth, they really should provide better library services to the Meth-Heads.
I am pretty sure everyone in Greymouth was high on Meth. My evidence to this fact is that they all looked like they were high or jones’ing. They acted high, and they were angry because my Red Rocket was in the way of their next fix. Therefore, I deem this Meth-Town, and I hope to never return unless the flood wall fails and washes all the angry meth head tweakers away.
So, we headed South and found a little beach town where the Meth labs were not headquartered. As the sun set Nikki took these pictures. It was the perfect end to a road trippin’ day.
Up next, a FRIGGIN’ GLACIER CLIMB!
Fun With Numbers
# of Meat Pies I have consumed-14
# of minor arguments the honeymooners have had on the trip (so far)-4
# of these arguments related to each others driving-all 4 (extra credit: all 4 related to Geoff’s driving)
# of times Geoff’s left side (opposite) side view mirror has hit a road sign-1
# of times a crashing side view mirror awoke sleeping beauty Nikki-1
# of times Nikki has mentioned side view mirror collision story to strangers in passing-5
$ amount Geoff stated he would pay for his beloved Popeye’s Fish and Chips-over $50