|Today became a little eventful but started out well enough as I headed north. After actually bothering to read the guidebook for a change (after over 2 years travelling reading guidebooks does become a chore, much better to speak to people) I decided that a trip up north to the Oparara basin would be worth a visit as the Lonely Planet book raved about the Basin's limestone arches , so off I went. The trip up north was punctuated with a stop at Punakaiki for a look at the 'famous' pancake rocks which are formed from layered limestone, however those clever geologists have yet to be certain exactly how the layering effect was achieved. Thankfully the trip to view the rocks is free and I headed further up north to the end of the road at bohemian Karamea and onto the dirt track towards the Oparara Basin. As the light was falling in my wisdom I thought I would have a closer look at the beach and in the process managed to ground the van! Certainly not clever. After an hour of digging and trying drive the van out I gave up and in desperation knocked on the door of a nearby batch (thats what they call a small house here) and was greeted by a friendly farmer who laughed and said I wasnt the first and certainly wont be the last! His son arrived in his 4wd and proceeded to pull the van out much to my relief, and after being hugely thankful it was onto the carpark in the Basin to rest up for the night.