Living The Cyclists Dream Down Under

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Glentunnel Holiday Park

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, May 8, 2011

Today was one of the best days cycling I can remember. Finally back in the saddle, we started our Kiwi adventure with a day made in heaven. The New Zealand great outdoors immediately won us over, this is one seriously beautiful country.

It was not a textbook cycle touring start to the day.  Sleeping in until 10am and then spending another two hours over breakfast and finally packing up the tent and gear on to the bikes, is not how bicycle tourists should behave.  At midday we pedalled away from Christchurch, around the airport where we had touched down 2 days before and off across The Canterbury Plains.  It was fresh but the sun was there, it was the perfect autumn day.  The bikes which have been fully serviced lasted two miles.  Poor Polly had been struggling to keep up, we found this was due to a jammed rear brake.  The root of the problem annoyingly is something which the mechanic must have broken and then ignored.  We disconnected the brake leaving Pols with just the front one for the day.  It turned out not to be a problem as all day we enjoyed flat open roads.

We followed a road out to McLeans Island (no idea why it is so called, answers on the blog comments section please) which passed through a beautiful pine forest.  We then turned off towards West Melton and Aylesbury.  We stopped for our first break and agreed that we will take less breaks than we did in Asia (largely due to 2 bottles of water and 2 packets of crisps setting us back 9).  The countryside was just perfect.  Open fields either side of us and mountains in the distance (we will be climbing The Southern Alps in a couple of days' time).  As expected there were lots of sheep also.

As we rested for lunch it was impossible to ignore the absolute peace and quiet.  We could not have found ourselves in a more contrasting situation to the 5 months of constant noise and chaos of Asia.  There was nobody around.  For most of the day we pretty much had the roads to ourselves.  It was damn good to have cheese and Branston pickle sandwiches for lunch as well.

The afternoons scenery continued to charm us.  Through the beautiful villages of Charing Cross and Horarata we passed.  We stocked up for the night in the village stores (only the second shop we found all day) and asked for the nearest campsite.  It took us slightly off our route but we were delighted when we found the camping ground.  In the village of Glentunnel we pitched our tent as the sun went down.  The autumn colours of the forest paired with the sound of a rushing river made for a pretty perfect camping spot.  No rain, spectacular scenery, no traffic, cheese and pickle sandwiches, I want every day in New Zealand to be like this one.

Miles cycled: 42 to get us back in the swing
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triciagick on

Lovely start -well done you two.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

debbie on

ace to see your smiley little faces the other day even if polly was more interested in australian come dine with me.
i'm gonna be in miami for the first week of august, if the usa tour takes you near that way then come borrow my posh hotel room for a few days xx xx x

triciagick on

6.30pm here, so I suppose you're fast asleep! Ellie and I had a great catch up in Costa this morning and she gave good advice on my wedding gear for Saturday. Later in the day, she and Dave came round with some tomato plants for us and between us, Dads and I have managed to get them in grow bags - fed and watered and bursting to produce fruit, I hope! Dan, Betty and Geoff came round last night for barbecued roast lamb. Dan's very excited as he's bought a two man paramotor and is looking forward to taking us all into the skies (one at a time!!) Apparently, he's going to practise with sandbags first - wonder which of us is going to brave it first - help..... Hope today was as good as yesterday in the cycling department. Tons of love xxxxxxxxxxxx

Jojo on

New Zealand sounds great - it is the one far off place I would like to go to! I think you might begin to get a bit bored with cheese and pickle sandwiches - you sould try some NZ mutton - Tony says they never eat lamb - not enough flavour so they send it to the poms! Sun still blazing away here - I've got Olaf asleep upstairs and when he wakes I've got to take him to be weighed and measured 'cause his Mummy wants to know how much he's grown. Things might be hotting up on the Storton move - had one offer and someone came again to view again last night so fingers crossed for them.

Wonderful to speak to you both on T's birthday!!

All love Jojo and CJB

Charlotte on

Gosh, what a shock to the system to be back at work!! Being kept busy learning what I am doing though which helps the time pass quickly :-)

Giles practised his speech last night for the first time and it sounded really good. Can't believe it is this weekend - has come round so quickly.

Passed the stuff on to your Mum via helpful Jane. Williams Road seemed to like their pressies too and some of them are even using them!

Hope you are used to being back onthe saddles by now and the kg you put on each isn;t hampering your efforts too much!!

Lots of love Cxxx

Helpful Jane on

Was wonderful to see C & G again on Sunday. They would rather have been in Borneo than Bosham though. As C said, I returned your bag to Trig who was immediately worried about you being cold cyclists! NZ sounds great and is certainly on my must vivit list. Have just returned from seeing parents in Devon and am now getting into entertaining mode ready for this weekend. 16 for lunch in new kitchen on Sunday (inc C & G and Trig, sadly Alan working). Your blog is a real tonic. XXXXX

Caroline on

Just been reading the last few pages of your blog to Oliver and it's making us both feel like we want to go back! We spent just over 7 weeks in New Zealand and simply LOVED it. It seems you will enjoy it just as much as us. So good to read you guys and re-live the memories. Take care and enjoy! Caroline xxx

Jojo on

Well - it's the eve of the big day!! I am planning to get to the church at 2 o'clock to get a good view of them all arriving and hopefully get some good shots of lots of beautiful people. Apparently they had the rehearsal in church yesterday and I think everything went well - so fingers crossed for a lovely day!

I have got Monty Dog for a week as Mandy goes travelling around Turkey and I will be having Olaf for 4 days from Sunday so I've got my work cut out! I shall be in need of our little break in France. CJB and I have a lovely little cottage in the middle of nowhere for a week and Tricia and Betty will be joining us for one night.
Hope NZ is continuing to live up to all expectations - have you reached 'The Remarkables' yet?
All love Jojo & CJB

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