January 5 1984
There was a lake outside our tent door this morning. We had yacht races on it with our jandals. Dave won. The river behind the tent was bank to bank and we were supposed to be going to Punakaiki. We pulled down the tent in the rain.
We found the Post Office, sent postcards to Grandmas and started travelling. On the way we pulled over to let a truck pass us. It went by so fast and with so much spray, it made our car go off the road.
We stopped at Waiuta. It used to be a town during the gold rush. Now it was just a few chimneys and flat concrete bits. It was hard to imagine a town or anyone living there. On the way we saw a shaft that wasn't covered up. If you were a fool you could go in. It was the best.
We went to Greymouth and had hot soup for lunch that burnt my tongue.
The tent was wet when we packed it up so when we put it up at Punakaiki, the water came through.
After tea there was a thunderstorm with bright lightening. In the olden days a man was promoted from Wellington to here.
Mum slept in the car. We slept with Dad in the tent with the ground sheet above us in case it rained.
January 6, 1984
Today was a nice sunny day so the tent dried out. We saw the blowholes and the Pancake Rocks. They were fantastic. There was a surge pool with the sea crashing and bashing about.
After lunch we went with the DOC rangers to a new reserve. We waded through mud and amongst flax with water up to our knees and in our sneakers. We found a dead Westland Black Petrel. The flax was really tall. I think they want to build a walkway over the mud. It would be a good idea. I don't know how the rangers knew where to go but we suddenly walked out of the flax onto a beach.
We hunted for Pounamu. Mum found some. Her piece was a big round piece like a fifty-cent coin. I found a bit too. I think. I hope.
January 7, 1984
Today we went down the Truman Track into some caves. In the caves were a whole lot of shells where Maori had eaten ages ago. We had to be very respectful.
There was another blowhole and a waterfall. You could stand under the waterfall and not even get wet. There were rock pools and we stuck our fingers in anemones.
We stayed and had dinner on the beach. I guess like the Maori did, but we had bread rolls filled with lettuce, luncheon sausage and cheese. We watched the sun set into the sea from the top of the rocks. Dad said it would look like a light bulb just before it set and there would be a green ring around it, but I missed it. Mum said it was the best bit of our holiday.
When it was dark we walked back up the track. We walked with no torches. We saw fluorescent fungi shining yellow and white in the dark and some glowworms.
January 8, 1984
We packed up and drove home.
I came home to my two fish, Jack and Jill. I had got them for Christmas. They were dead. Their tank was full of green algae and it looked like jelly. They were floating near the top. The pet shop lady and the fish book said you could leave fish for three weeks and they would be all right. But now they were dead so we buried them.
Dad goes back to work tomorrow, he seemed sad. Mum was happy, but not about the fish.
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