October 31, 2013

4. Southern Safari: a high road to nowhere

A bit of track maintenance so the non-snorkellers can get through on their own adventure.
A West Coast downpour overnight meant that the organisers of the Napoleons Hill part of the safari, with its famous drive-thru caves, was off limits to any vehicle without a snorkel. Several drivers decided to ride along with the snorkelled majority, but three of us – in two Wranglers and a V8 Surf – decided to try to find an alternative way in, farther along the track where the river level might be more forgiving. Our guides for the day, the Christchurch based SINDA Family 4x4 Club (SINDA standing for South Island Niva Drivers’ Association, from back in the day), pointed us in the right direction. But despite the directions and despite on-board topo maps, and despite earlier trips to the area by one of the group, we failed to locate the right spot for a rendezvous.

So we set off exploring some tracks of our own and by complete luck found ourselves on Napoleon Hill track, or at least that’s what TomTom said it was – it’s surprising how many 4WD trails the little fellow knows. The part we drove was easy enough for a well set-up vehicle, but quite narrow. Would have been way more fun splashing through the caves, though; especially as the snorkelers came back full of enthusiasm for a great day out. On the other hand, several vehicles got wet inside and some drivers are trying to dry soggy air filters. 

And returning to the previous post about false jeopardy and reality TV, it looks like the next stage, Noname Road near Greymouth, will also require a snorkel. Will 4wdNewz have to sit on the sideline for the second day in a row, or will the waters have receded? Don't miss the next exciting posting.

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