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Previous Day: Day 28 – Haast to Hokitika

Day 29 – Hokitika (well, more Ross)

As we’re going to the Wild Food Festival tomorrow, we had a day around Hokitika. And we woke up to torrential rain (and a wet car seat – again). We wondered what there was to do in the rain.

Today might be a short diary….

Ross – Flossies Cafe

I suggested that we go to Ross, a small town just up the road that has an interesting history of gold mining. In fact, there is still a working gold mine up the road.

Art wasn’t into walking very far, so the first place we headed was ‘Flossies’, the local cafe. This was an interesting experience – not least because the cafe was home to two six month old Manx kittens a jet black (female, petite) and a pure white (tom, large and growing by the day) one. And both took a fancy to Art! Well, anyone who knows Art will know that his relationship with cats is not a close one. So it was an unusual sight to see the little black cat curled up in his arms! The owner was a Western Australian guy who had been in NZ for over 30 years. He was good entertainment, and went with the cafe very well.

Note – the cafe is the first one I’ve come across in NZ that doesn’t do espresso, but it was a more than passable plunger filter coffee.

Ross – Gold Fossicking

By the time we came out of the cafe the sun was out. Now, Ross is one of the few places where you can legally go fossicking for gold in the local stream. And you could rent a gold pan and shovel for the day for $10 NZD. Art was still in to not doing a lot, so we decided to try our luck. We headed (in the car) for the creek, parked up, and readied ourselves for the day.

Now, in my case this involved putting on my shorts and rubber sandals, and wading (ankle deep) into the creek. The art (apparently) is to scoop up the sand and gravel where the water drops its load of gold (behind large stones, where the water stops running fast), then to swirl the contents so that the heavy gold drops to the bottom and the lighter sediment, gravel and rock segments get washed away. I could see tiny gold dust in the water, and some larger grains of gold, but I’m buggered if I could get the hang of collecting them! (we currently have a plastic container filled with what is mainly sediment sitting in the bathroom).

However. It’s strangely relaxing, and I was quite happy sitting on a rock from 11:30 to 3:30, swirling away. My back is now telling me all about it though!

Art’s day was a tad more relaxing. This involved sitting in our fold-up chairs with a glass of wine, and cheese and biscuits, chatting to all the people going past who wanted to know if I’d managed to find any gold yet. (we told every one of them that I’d just made our fortune!)

Hokitika Wild Food Festival – Friday night

We headed for our B&B, showered up and headed for town. Hokitika was buzzing! There were market stalls, hotdogs, hamburgers, donuts, ice cream. The only trouble was, we were after a reasonable meal – and all the bars (that normally do food) weren’t cooking that night. In the end we ended up with an extremely good pizza, which had a good dose of garlic. Just as well we shared it!

Next Day: Day 30 – Hokitika to Murchison

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terris_travelogue/south_island/day_29.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/10 20:09 by art
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