Still plugging away in New Zealand

We are still plugging away cycling from New Zealand’s Alps to her East Coast…

Day 7

April 3rd

Our ride today was relatively easy. The first half was a slight incline, but on sealed roads alongside what appears to be a common New Zealand Salmon Farm. We stopped for lunch on the Ohau Lake, before embarking on an off-road section of the A2O trail.

This part of the ride was breathtakingly beautiful. It was lined with pines, which gave off a beautiful scent. There was also the crunch of the pine leaves under the tyres, and the view of these spectacular mountains mirrored perfectly on the perfectly still lake.

We made such good time, Clare did not have time to ride back and meet us, luckily there is only one place to lodge in this town…!

Immediately after arriving, Chris and Marina hopped in the bus, and were driven by Anna and Clare to the top of the old snow field’s road. The plan was to ride down again. The drive up was nerve wracking, even on the “new” road. It was perilously narrow, with sheer, treeless drops off the side.

Unfortunately the Old Snow Field’s road was not much more fun for Marina and Chris. They bush-bashed much of it, with only a few precious free riding moments in hundreds of metres of trail. Chris’s remark was “the only thing worse would have been if we had ridden to the top!”

The day was recovered by a glass of wine and a dip in the hot tubs. They were too hot to sit in for long, but the view of the lake was well worth it. They provided pumice stones for our sore and trashed feet, which were revitalized with a quick scrub.

Tomorrow is a short 23km jaunt to nearby Omarama, however 12km of it is uphill…. wish us luck!

Day 8

April 4th

With Di in serious need of a rest, she took over logistics and support for the day, and what an amazing job she did!

I took the opportunity to hop on my bike, Evie in tow, and a 900m climb ahead of me. Oh, and I got the kilometres wrong, it was actually 43km… whoops.

Today was really really really good fun. Despite the long climb, we were on fantastic single trail with spectacular views over the valley. Chris AKA Bike Fairy and Marina took an opportunity to ride back again, down hill (making up for yesterday), and caught us up again within minutes even though they’d done an extra 5km. Marina has thus earned the nickname (in my head) of “Super Freaky” because she is just so dang good.

After the climb there was a thoroughly enjoyable downhill section, which was made extra fun with Evie hollering and whooping in the Chariot. We then meandered over a grassy plan to a historic site – a 100yr old wool shed for lunch.

Di was waiting for us armed with a camera, and lunch, and settled down with us by the stream. We did the next 20km in an hour, because it was mostly smooth gravel and sealed road, and are now in a caravan park on a river, watching a storm brew (hopefully it will pass in time for us to ride again tomorrow!

Today is Anna and Marina’s last day with us in New Zealand. They get the bus back to Christchurch in the morning, and we do the next 4 days without them. Anna, at 28wks pregnant, has been a machine. Marina has said “yes” to everything, which makes her a fantastic traveling buddy!

We are now going to Omarama Hot Tubs, for a private, log-heated tub right on the lake… tough life!

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