The sign near the mountain viewing area on Gillespies Beach Road reads “EXTREME CAUTION – Narrow Road – Winding Next 12 km – NO EXIT”. What do you do? The view of the setting sun reflected on the Southern Alps had been spectacular. It was getting darker by the minute. There was no chance of a visit the next day, so we took the chance. The sign was right. Not only was the road narrow, but it was unsealed and winding for the 12 km journey to the rugged west coast Gillespies Beach.
It was worth the drive. Twilight was fading fast as we arrived and the sunset colours were draining from the sky. A short walk through bush from the Department of Conservation campsite brought us onto a wonderful stretch of beach covered with large rounded pebbles and strewn with driftwood. People watching the remains of the sunset were silhouetted against the sky, while others were illuminated by the flames of from driftwood camp fires . What a magical place to watch the day turn into night.
Careful navigation in the dark on the return journey was made easier with the help of the GPS to warn of sharp corners ahead.