We had contacted the B&B where we were staying in Greymouth the day before we arrived to confirm details. “Arriving at 3.00pm? Perfect. See you then.” So when the boating team dumped us a bit early we just sat outside the B&B on chairs in the shade. Jane read her Kindle; I fiddled with email. At about 3.00 we rang the bell. Nothing but no problem. We’ll just continue chilling here. 3.15 and still no reply, including to a phone call. Visions of having to find alternative accommodation begin to form. At 3.30, just as we were wondering whether we needed forensics, a nice chap arrived by car at the back of the property and let himself, then us, in.
From then on we were very well looked after. Having been recommended a restaurant (Buccleugh’s on High. Found later to be pretty good) we went off and booked a table before proceeding down (past the local RSA which came complete with 25 pounder and Bofors guns) into town to check out the car hire arrangements for the next day. Then we started to walk round town, along a shore-side cycling track. Glorious hot weather still.
The town rather reminded us of Bo’ness in Scotland. A coal production and exporting town trying to find a focus in the 21st century following the loss of its original raison d’être. Greymouth has the advantage of tourism but there is still a lot of Victorian and Edwardian infrastructure which people are now trying to use profitably.