A tour guide, a driver and now a bus mechanic!
What was always going to be a very long day became a day my group are all raving about.
Departure 8am from Nelson. First stop Hope Lookout 1 hour south of Nelson. A quick 15 minute stop for photography plus for those needing a toilet to use the rather pungent long drop toilet. Apparently today not as bad as I have known it to be but full of bees. They had been warned!
Go to get in the bus and no electrics. Totally dead. Damn!
Phone the consultant who the bus belongs to and they instruct me to drive it to the nearest workshop. Yeah right! Its dead!
They have a mechanic phone me and he has a brainwave. Check the battery connections. Now that I had thought of to but the very limited tool kit has 20 suitcases packed in front of it. Bugger! Unload the 20 suitcases. Access the very limited tool kit. Climb over the drivers seat to get to where the battery is as the drivers door needs electrics. I over rode that part but open the door and we are invaded with bumble bees. So work in an oven to unscrew the bolts holding the battery cover on. Low and behold the positive wire is not on the terminal. Bugger!
Worse, it was obvious the terminal to connect it had somewhat shrunk which I found out next stop meant it had been shorting for quite a while. So I could not attach the positive lead so one of the group I asked hop in the drivers seat why I hold the lead on. We got it started so all hop in and we head for Murchison.
A drama start to the day. A mechanic in Murchison packs behind the lead so it connects with a caution warning but hopefully it will last the tour.
The stop Murchison was obviously longer than planned so by now with the breakdown we are over 1 hour behind time.
Lunch in Westport. A beautiful café/bar. Slow on service but to be fair they never expected a bus group to pull up for a late lunch.
On to Cape Foulwind. A very hot day so I warned all to put more sunblock on. All completed the walk fine why I devoured an ice cream at the other end. I had checked out the Tauranga Bay seal colony. Not that many there but I think most mums were out at sea as there were many seal pups.
On to the Pancake Rocks. All are starting to look weiry and a little burnt but all still did the walk.
Next stop not on the original agenda was Monteiths Brewery. My addition. Everybody appreciated and partook in the beer tasting.
Final arrival Hokitika 2 hours later than intended at 7.30pm but a very happy group.
For me I am exhausted. Cut my head open getting at the battery. Cut my arm on who knows what.
Tomorrow in theory an easy day. A slow start Hokitika why the group look at greenstone. Then down to the glaciers finishing tomorrow night at Fox Glacier. We all need an easy day