What a night, we haven’t had so much rain since I don’t know when. It rained for most of the night and at times very heavily. Things were more than a little damp this morning.
Leaving Seddonville in light drizzle we ran into a good downpour of rain where a vehicle just 100 metre’s ahead disappeared in the gloom. Water laying on the road presented another hazard so it was a case of easy does it. We were on the road by about 10am and headed back to Westport where we visited the supermarket and refuelled the diesel before heading inland through the Buller Gorge.
This road has been blasted out of solid rock and there are a couple of places where the road is down to one lane. Traffic lights have been installed on one section since we last passed this way. The other section is like a tunnel with one wall missing as the rocky outcrop hangs over the road. You can see marks on the rock wall where large trucks have left their calling cards as they have squeezed through.
The weather did improve as the day wore on and we arrived in Reefton in about 2½ hours in time for lunch. This afternoon we ventured into town which is only about a kilometre away to find the Information centre and plan our time here in Reefton. We have since had more rain but where we are parked at the Reefton Racecourse it shouldn’t present any problems.
One of Reefton’s claim to fame was getting electricity to light the streets with it’s own hydro power station using a 1.8km water race from the Inangahua River. This race had earth and rock tunnels to get the water to the power station. After passing through the power station it was returned to the river by a tail race.