On a second road, the inland road to Wairau, I was to find that the road workers had done more miracles to get the road re-opened. There were a couple of patches where they have re-routed the road downhill towards a river, with a new crossing. Once this was to avoid a hugely unstable Hill, and the other time was to reach a bailey bridge that was replacing a very munted bridge. There were areas of huge landslips along parts of the route, and in one place it seemed remarkable there was even a hillside left to carry a road.
Despite the tricky bits, I reached Wairau safely before too long, and had a wonderful bacon and eggs breakfast at the cafe there.
The historic hotel in Waiau didn't fare too well- and neither did one in Kaikoura- but someone had put festive decorations on the fence, a la Christchurch.
The weather fined up as I headed into Arthur's Pass and I had many wonderful views.
The photo above is of the Waimakariri River's birthplace in Arthur's Pass. The scale of the rivers and the rock-filled hills tells all kinds of stories to a wondering mind about the glaciers that once filled the area.
Here is the engineering marvel that is the Otira Viaduct- made to allow passage in this hugely unstable alpine environment.
And of course there are curious keas in the neighbourhood.
Late in the afternoon I reached South Beach near Greymouth, and I am staying in the camping ground here. South Beach is where one lot of my great-grandparents lived, starting off here on the beach goldfields. I got to watch the sunset on a calm night.