Haasta la vista

Um Bongo Kia Ora from the village of Haast, on the west coast of New Zealand’s south island.

It’s a curious place. I picked it for an overnight stop mainly because it looked on the map to be about nine hours’ drive or so from where I started out this morning. Which (including breaks) it was.

However, it’s not somewhere I would instantly choose to come back to. It’s a wee place, not much life to it, and the supermarket round the corner from where I am staying is long-closed down with newspaper in the window. Even worse, there’s no evidence of a pub.

Haast is so far from anywhere (in any direction) that I am sure it’s the sort of place where everyone is their own uncle.

That said, the drive down was gorgeous – the scenery on the west coast is spectacular, reminding me of the north of Albania (albeit with better roads and less chance of encountering wolves). The mountains are huge, the forests lush and green, and it’s been raining heavily. It’s like Scottish scenery turned up to 11.

I continue my trek towards the south tomorrow. Next stop probably Invercargill.

3 thoughts on “Haasta la vista

  1. Haast reminded me strangly of Gretna Green when I was there. We were actually in Haast Township rather than Haast or Haast Junction but these places are all within a stone’s throw anyway. There was definately a pub, with tartan chairs and hunderds of anters. I think it was the slightly lost and on-the-edge feeling of the place, plus the tartan and the fact that it was cold and drizzly in the middle of summer, that reminded me of Gretna. No runaway brides to be seen though!

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