Over Lindis Pass The Right Way

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

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Where I stayed
Cromwell Top 10 Holiday Park

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, May 13, 2011

It was colder than ever this morning, grey clouds overhead looked menacing but while I piled on the layers, the warm-blooded Ironman stuck to his shorts! As promised by our helpful campsite owner the first 20 miles before we hit the Lindis Pass were flat and straight-forward. The pass looked bad, but the road snaked gently up and we were pretty surprised to reach the summit after only a mile! Unexpectedly the next 12 miles were some of the most fantastic continuous downhill we've ever had. Steep enough to get Mikey trying to break Phillip the German’s speed record of 40mph (he only managed 36mph), but flattening out at useful points so that we hardly had to apply the breaks at all. Breath-taking scenery through a deep valley made it even better.

Having whizzed through 36 miles we stopped for yet another scenic picnic lunch and bumped into our first cycle tourer. He was a Kiwi, living in Nelson who had cycled down the west coast and was on his way back home. He said that the west coast would make the scenery here look boring! Can’t wait! Unlike campervan drivers we’ve met who all say it will be too cold for us, he agreed it will be fantastic. We had to let him know the bad news about the 12 miles uphill he was facing, but he didn’t seem too bothered. Despite the fact that it was only 1pm he was planning to camp out 1km away and hit the pass tomorrow. We left him in a field looking very happy, despite the fact that he was in the middle of a deserted valley completely alone. We couldn’t believe he wouldn’t rather head on to a campsite, both of us would have been terrified in the dark wilderness alone –freaky.

We continued the super-fast pace to Tarras, apart from one more steep pass and arrived to find a tiny town with a very posh and lovely coffee shop and farm shop but nothing else. It was 3pm and we’d done 52miles so settled in by the fire with a couple of lattes planning to head to the farm campsite we’d been told about last night. The shop owner had bad news however – it had closed down. Never mind - we got back on the bikes and flew through the 18 miles to Cromwell in 1 hr and 20 mins. The thought of another Top 10 Campsite waiting for us kept the wheels turning and when we arrived it was as good as the rest have been. A massive fat black Labrador to meet us at reception and a bouncing pillow in the kids play park were added extras to the usual sparkling facilities. We’ve just eaten an enormous meal of fish and chips and have collapsed in the TV room – very sleepy. Only 35 miles to Queenstown and a rest tomorrow!

PS. I have just checked this and Polly has neglected to say how unbelievable the scenery was again today.  It is dangerous, not being able to concentrate on the road as your eyes are constantly drawn to the mountains and lakes on either side.  Not only that but I like us to do about 15miles per hour, this is just not possible when we are stopping every few minutes to take photographs.  Oh well!

Miles cycled: 70 but it would have been a different story if we were going the other way
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triciagick on

Hope you two are sleeping well - so topsy turvey this life! Looking forward to the wedding tomorrow and wish you guys were coming. Masses of love to you both. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Lindy on

Have only just got my head around the fact that it is autumn where you are!!!! Cows with the stripe are Galloways (I think) - we have them here - maybe a Scot took some over??
Still loving the blog - the contrast to your last few weeks is amazing and looking forward to more of NZ
All love Lindy

Mum and Dad on

Newzealand really does seem beautiful-so unbelievably peaceful .Yes we have seen those lovely stripy cows somewhere.Must go and find out where you are on map now.Speak soonxxxxxxxxxxx

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