Backpacking trip begins, headed to Barrytown via Greymouth

Barrytown Travel Blog

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Transalpine train journey

The day started in an absolute RUSH. I woke up late, got ready by 7am and had to meet the Intercity coach in front of another hostel (Stonehurst) at 7:30am. But before that, I wanted to organise my C'ch activities for when I get back. So I spent some 15 mins or so checking out, and speaking to the lady at the reception. I literally ran across the street to the hostel. Having a stupid backpack with a broken wheel made matters worse. After all this, the flaming bus arrived some 30 mins late. So there I was, no breakie, no nothing, waiting in the cold morning weather for public transport. Sigh!

The bus arrived and made umpteen stops across C`ch to pick up everyone, inc.

Barrytown hostel
someone form the city jail (LOL!). We headed along the coast through to Arthur`s Pass where we stopped for a tea break with a few scenic stops in between. This bit was a bit boring. Thank God for the iPod! But it was after tea that the journey started getting interesting.. we followed the same route as the Transalphine train. This journey goes through the Southern Alps and calling it colourful is an understatement. It was ALL sorts of FABULOUS. The weather, greenery, mountains, hills, sheep, burse, everything! Shame our bus was moving so fast, couldn`t take too many pictures. It was a sight for sore eyes. I finally thought I`d started to see the beauty of NZ, we're talking *real* beauty here!

We arrived Greymouth where I bought my grocery for the day.

My room
Ran into a Dutch backpacker Linda who was also with Stray Travel. We boarded another coach headed to Barrytown. The drive was nice as we went along the west coast of the South Island. It was hardly 25 mins or so, we were in Barrytown by 1:45pm or so. The rest of the group had gone for the knife making. The town is dull. As in, the town comprises of only 5 houses, a hostel and a beach. The owners were very sweet, but promptly refused to drop us at the Pancake rocks when we suggested we'll do some trekking. So Linda and I went for a walk to the beach. We were joined by some Kiwi journo who travels around the world. We had an interesting walk up the beach. Took some photos there and got back for an early dinner.

The hostel was absolute pants. I even wondered why we're staying there. Turns out that, this is a rumour of course, that one of the people who have a stake in Stray own the hostel in Barrytown and wants to promote it.

En route to Barrytown
Hence this mandatory stop there. The room was awful, the kitchen tiny and smelly, and no locks for any of the rooms which were semi detached to begin with. There was no proper definition of a fence also. It was, in a word BAD.

By this time Linda and I got done with an early dinner, the rest of our Stray-mates had arrived. They didn`t seem too friendly, not to mention they were all split up into different groups. What's even worse is that, the second group of Stray mates arrived a few hours later causing more confusion. I was bored to my wits, I`ve never felt this bored on a trip before. Got introduced to the driver Noddy who seemed like a loudmouth to me, but a charming one all the same. Done with all the sweet hello`s, met my roommates - Bronwyn (British) and Suzanne (Dutch) that night, chatted for a bit and I called it an early night. It was a bit cold outside, and the stupid door opening up at the slightest breeze didn't help.

Crowd-wise, I reckon my Ireland trip had set high standards. I was a bit disappointed but then, I came here very well with the expectation that nothing could outdo the group we had in Ireland. I was just glad seeing that none of them were the real party-party types, they all seemed well behaved to me.

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Transalpine train journey
Transalpine train journey
Barrytown hostel
Barrytown hostel
My room
My room
En route to Barrytown
En route to Barrytown
Barrytown beach
Barrytown beach
Barrytown
photo by: Vikram