Time for the biking to start

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Apr 24, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, February 3, 2013

The suburbs of Christchurch were soon behind us as we headed down Interstate 1 the main North to South highway.

With so many English town names and topography that resembled England we really felt like we had never left home. The weather was even like a UK summer day 16c, grey, misty and spitting with rain.

We turned inland at Geraldine and things started to change rapidly for the better. We arrived in biking heaven.

No traffic, great road surface, long sweeping bends and superb visibility. The hardest part was trying to stick to the speed limit. While we didn't encounter any speed cops it had been drummed into us that get caught doing 40kph over the limit and the bike will be impounded for 28 days and we would be liable for the fine ,storage costs and more importantly loss of rental income.

Lower transgressions were also harshly dealt with. On the basis the locals seemed to be behaving themselves so did we and will do so in the future.

The scenery was so fantastic it soon compensated for the lack of adrenaline rush normally associated with these roads.

Or perhaps it's just because Wally is getting on a bit and life has a different perspective now!

Mount Cook the snow capped highest peak in the Southern Alps loomed into view bringing us to our destination of Twizel.

In Europe we are used to towns being hundreds of years old but Twizel was only built in 1968. Built as a temporary measure to serve the close by hydro electric plant during the construction phase it morphed into a permanent township thanks to the pressure of the local inhabitants.

Our accommodation for the Nz leg of the trip has been organised by Mark from Bike Round Oz who also organised our bike hire. He recommended the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch which we booked direct but all nights on the road in Nz have been pre booked by his organisation.

We certainly hope they are all of the standard of the Aspen Lodge Motel. We even have our own small garden space. The choice of either trim or full fat milk made us chuckle.

Thanks to the guys at Te Waipounamu Motorcycles letting us have the bike early we were able to get to the motel early enough to, drop off our kit and head off on the 60km trip to the Sir Edmund Hilary Mountaineering centre at the base of Mount Cook.

The ride and views are simply breathtaking and coupled with the 34c heat made a truly memorable ride. There seemed to be more helicopters and planes touting for business to take visitors to t he glacier than there were people around.420km today.
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