Blown Away

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

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Where I stayed
Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, May 12, 2011

When we woke at Lake Tekapo this morning the still mirror waters of yesterday evening looked more like a wild ocean. The waves crashed the shoreline and the trees around us were bending over under the strain of the winds. We set off and the wind was on our backs, it looked like it would be a pretty straight forward day. We did not see the trouble ahead that hit us after an hour.

On an open plain, the wind started to absolutely batter us.  At first we could ride it out but when Polly was blown off (honestly blown off her bike) we stopped to rethink.  I was able to go from a standing start quickly up to 35mph without even turning the pedals, given the bike and gear weighs 60 kg on top of my 70 kg you can get some idea of the force of the breeze.  We tried to sit it out but when a friendly local in his pickup reversed up to warn us that this could last a couple of days, we knew that we had to get off the highland plain and try and find some lower sheltered ground.  Side gusts were knocking us over and we had to pull over each time something past us as the vacuum was hazardous enough with two feet firmly on the ground.

We made it to lower ground and as the wind changed direction we struggled to make ground.  We rounded a brilliant blue lake, again the white horse waves showed how extreme the weather was.  The views of Mount Cook, the highest peak in Australasia, were mind blowing.  Against the crystal clear skies, the mountain stood tall.  Even with our terrible camera and minimal photographic skills, I'm sure you'll agree that the shots are unbelievable.

Omarama (it made me think of Oklahoma and Osama Bin Laden and Barrak Obama, now there’s a musical) was another perfect base for the night.  The deserted campsite was beautiful and we pitched the tent as the sun cast brilliant shadows on the surrounding hillsides.  The campsite lady even had the following days ride printed out and laminated from The Peddler’s Paradise (a book written about cycling around New Zealand) and gave us big fluffy towels as she knew that cyclists don’t carry nice towels, can this country get any better?

Miles cycled: 58 and we were blown all over the place
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triciagick on

My road atlas of New Zealand is amazing - it's even got the Church of the Good Shephed and the ice skating ring marked. Did you spot Mt McDonald? Owing to the large scale of it, you look as though you are covering huge distances too .xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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