A short jaunt today (finally!), and one of the most picturesque. The bike trail from Omarama to Otematata was lined with weeping willows and deciduous trees… pity it was pouring. Despite the weather, not one rider piked! I was very impressed. There was a nasty hill in the final 5km to town, which Jen won (King of the hill!), then all smooth gliding to our accommodation.
Speaking of which, it is really really really basic. More basic than our cabins last night. It is like an old school excursion lodge-house. The carpets are at least 30yrs old, and they are worn through to rotten floorboards in many areas.
The shower mats have been in place so long that they are cemented in with hair and dirt and decomposing bugs. The showers are hot and firm, which is nice until you look up, and then you notice the roof paneling that is hanging from it’s last nail and is going to fall and pierce someone’s head at any moment. Everyone is quite funny about it though, they have all laughed and taken it in their stride. I think the Alp2Ocean organisers need to rethink their accommodation associations though….! If we survive the night I will write again tomorrow.
Thankfully, our accommodation did not get any worse… no rats, no cockroaches, no ghosts. We all slept remarkably well, with the night only punctuated by Evie falling out of bed. Never the less, we were all pretty keen to get out of there, and headed to a nearby park to warm up on their dirt bike jumps. I got some great photos of Chris in the air… before he crashed!
We found a great coffee shop in the middle of nowhere selling massive baked goods (like cookies and scones), and stocked up for the day. Within the first kilometre on the bike, we had a 1km steep hill up our first dam wall!
Our itinerary today had only a few hills, but it was long. We intended on doing the full 44km leg, plus 15km into tomorrow’s leg because that is where our Farm Stay is. We crossed 3 dam walls, all spectacular. Somewhere around the 20km mark Marty lost his mojo, but struggled on until there was only 5km to go. The others finished everything, exhausted but elated. They are getting the hang of drafting, which helps! It was an impressive effort just getting to the end today! I was quietly pleased at everyone’s tenacity.
Whilst they were riding, I had a chance to sit down with Kaye, the owner of the farm that we are at. She looked over our itinerary, and pointed out that our accommodation tomorrow night was 30km out of our way, plus we’d have to traverse two 4WD trails. She was very helpful in rearranging our plans, and it means we will have a full day off on Tuesday.
It also means another full 60km on the bike tomorrow.
Today took the team 5hrs including breaks, so whilst we know it is possible, it will be tough mentally. The good thing about these trips is that we get to find out what we are made of, even if it hurts along the way. The feeling of accomplishment at the end is unbeatable, so I hope that everyone hangs in there!
Tonight we are being put up by a family, about 5km from the highway. We have petted horses, and seen sheep and cows, Evie is stoked.
One more day of riding!