Jacks, 2's and 8's

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Road Trip Top Tip #42:- 'Sandflies and mossies: rubbing a mixture of Dettol and Baby Oil into every inch of exposed flesh will prevent you from being bitten and scarred, both physically and mentally..'

From the West Coast we switched tracks and joined a road unfamiliar to us both. Route 7 cuts inland from Greymouth and ventures into the Nelson Lakes National Park, a place we were keen to check out.

...and so today saw us gasping and spluttering as we peddled along the undulating banks of the Gowan River down to Lake Rotoroa. It's all pleasant enough and makes for a great half-day, as long as you don't stop anywhere for more than two to three seconds. Plus the landscape out here makes for a welcome change. It's all very robust out here, with lush green hills and firs as far as the eye can see.

We found the motor camp by accident yesterday on our way over to Saint Arnaud. Gowanbridge is a mere nick on the map, sitting alongside the River at the head of Lake Rotoroa. It announces itself proudly as the 'gateway to the National Park' and sits curiously on a stretch of lush green farmland amongst the trees.



The camp itself is perfect: small, immaculately tended and peacefully quiet. In fact we're the only ones here apart from the huge housebus hiding amongst the trees. It reminds me of the Cunningham's place in Lorneville, just what you need, which is why it's a shame about the sandflies. It never even occurred to me as we drove in, the fact that we were headed inland I'd assumed they'd be long gone. Not at all so. The annoying bloodsucking little bastards are back. In full force. They're worse than ever out here. Be warned.

So as we sit here now, on the beer garden bench playing cards, smothered from head to toe in a thick greasy mix of Dettol and Baby Oil (the only effective remedy, trust me) we're getting arsey. It's not good, and it's not as if they serve a purpose or anything. If it gets any worse I'll be off to get a can of something sprayable and flammable..
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