After I finished my last blog I of course watched the Royal Wedding. I stayed up to watch the whole thing and thought it was a really beautiful wedding. Then next morning we had time for brunch at a cafe, a little disappointing, Then left Greymouth.
We arrived at a small town famous for its Jade, or Pounamu, to give it the Maori name. It is very valuable, worth more than gold to the Maori and they used to make short clubs or bats with it to fight with in hand to hand combat. They also made Jewellery in specific designs, as different symbols have certain meanings. There is also a legend involving various gods and deities involving how jade and other rocks were formed around the whole of New Zealand but its long and I can't really remember that,
After that we continued down the West Coast to the Bushman's Centre. Back before tourism was the main industry men lived off the land, hunting trapping and logging were the main industries. We met Bushman Pete, and old man in his 70's now who told us about the Bushman Centre and Museum. He said out in the west coast there was none of this 'latte sipping, croissant sucking metro-sexual, Aucklander rubbish. It was real men living off the land. He told us how when they were starting u dear farms they used to fly helicopters to a dear, jump out on top of it and wrestle it to the ground. He said it made bungy jumping look like a sport for 'fairy boys.' There were pictures of it in the museum but the DVD was broken. Our driver says its totally true but I don't know if I really believe anyone would jump out of a helicopter onto a dear, it seems mad. He also hunts possums, they are a pest here and spread diseases and destroy the habitat for native birds. He sells possum pies but unfortunately there were none left, I would have liked to try one. Proceeds from the pie sales go to a campaign to stop the government killing them with poison, as it is dangerous for everything else, and use humane traps which electrocute them instead. There fur us also very valuable and one pelt in the shop, which is fairly small, is worth $50. Australian possums which we have here are different to the American opossums, they have furry tails and a very cute!
After that we Arrived in Franz Josef, a small tourist village named after the glacier on the mountain right behind it. Unfortunately I can't afford a helicopter ride and They won't let me hike with my broken tail bone So I am going to go the with wildlife sanctuary today, and maybe the spa pools.