New Zealand #8… Along the way!

December 04, 2016

We wanted to go to Abel Tasman after the glaciers but it was quite far so we needed to find a place to stop along the way. I don't remember how we found Punaikaki, but the name sounded funny and Pancake Rocks sounded even better! We drove all the way there on one of the most beautiful roads so far, the Haast passage, stopped in the parking lot for some lunch and off we went to explore. The rain had slowed a little so we had some time before it rains again (yes, I know, It seams like we are always talking about the weather, but the rain insists to make us company)…
So, Pancake rocks is a set of rock formations, by the sea, that look like pancakes piled on top of another, it’s very cool. The best part was not the rocks thou, there were some pretty amazing blow holes (the waves hit bellow the rocks and shoot up) in the middle, we spent hours listening and looking at the big waves coming out of the holes, like huge explosions. Francisco was glued to the spot, with his hands covering the ears (too much noise for him, he always does this) and without blinking, he was loving it! 
I wouldn't go there on propose but if it happens to be on your way you should to stop and have a look. The views are amazing and the blow hole is impressive. Check the tide, because the higher the tide the bigger the explosions… And the rocks, I’m sure it was just because of the name, but kids (and us) liked it a lot!
To sleep we found a free camping spot just a few meters up along the road, nice enough to spend the night. It was not too crowed what was perfect, I don't want to image that place if it was full (it fits too many camper vans for the space).
After a good night sleep we were off on the road again… It was still a long way to Abel Tasman, so we had to stop again. We found a great free camping place, with the nicest man! He lived there on a trailer and had a big vegetable garden for where we took something to cook dinner. It was in front of a river, it was too cold to take a swim but we got our feet on the water and kids did they favourite sport all afternoon, climbing up and down the rocks!
******
Queríamos ir para o parque Abel Tasman directamente dos glaciares mas como era muito longe tivemos que parar no caminho. Já não me lembro como descobrimos Punaikaki mas o nome era giro e as Pancake rocks ainda melhor! Guiamos directamente até lá, estacionamos, almoçamos e lá fomos explorar. A chuva tinha abrandado um bocado e tínhamos uma aberta para aproveitar (sim, parece que estamos sempre a falar do tempo, mas aqui todas as actividades têm de ser coordenadas com o tempo).
As Pancake Rocks são umas rochas (a fazer lembrar a Boca do Inferno em Portugal). A diferença é que as rochas parecem panquecas umas em cima das outras (daí o nome). Mas o melhor não são as rochas em si mas os ‘blow holes’ no meio (as ondas batem debaixo das rochas e disparam para cima por pequenas aberturas nas rochas). Ficamos  muito tempo a ver as ondas enormes a baterem nas rochas e explodirem para o ar. O Francisco estava completamente vidrado a olhar, mãos a tapar os ouvidos como é costume quando há muito barulho. Adorou!
Não viria a este sítio de propósito mas como esta a caminho entre os glaciares e o parque de Abel Tasman, é uma paragem que vale bem a pena. Se cá vierem vejam as marés, quanto mais alta esteja mais explosões se podem ver. E as próprias rochas (talvez por causa do nome) são divertidas.
Para dormir descobrimos um sítio grátis muito perto, na mesma estrada, que dava para passar a noite. Havia pouca gente o que foi bom. Em época mais alta deve estar cheio e há muito pouco espaço. Mais uma noite bem passada e no dia seguinte voltamos à estrada… O caminho ate Abel Tasman era longo, por isso tivemos que parar outra vez no caminho. Descobrimos um óptimo parque grátis, com um senhor muito simpático. Ele vivia lá numa caravana e tinha uma horta enorme, onde fomos buscar algumas coisas para o jantar. Era em frente a um rio, estava demasiado frio para tomar banho mas molhamos os pés e os miúdos passaram a tarde no desporto preferido, subir e descer rochas/pedras! 

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