When a wrong turn ended up so right

The Sunday Telegraph - Travel - - Letters -

On a mo­torhome tour of New Zealand with a com­pany called

Alan Rogers World­wide, I found my­self on the dra­matic west coast star­ing into a large flat white cof­fee. I’d seen the glaciers, both Franz Josef and Fox, but now it was time for some­thing un­struc­tured.

Ex­it­ing the café, I took a wrong turn and found my­self on an un­made-up road which be­came a rough track, then a dirt trail. Un­able to turn around, I even­tu­ally found my­self on a beach. Alone.

The white foam of the Tasman Sea pounded the shore. The place was sur­real: countless per­fectly smooth peb­bles, bril­liant bone-white and grey-green.

Art­fully placed at in­ter­vals were the washed up tree stumps from some far off place. Sun-baked and salt-bleached, their roots were weath­ered and con­torted into oth­er­worldly shapes.

Well-or­gan­ised itin­er­ar­ies have their place, but this was the best wrong turn I have ever made. RUS­SELL WHELDON, KENT

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