Out into the Wild West

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

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Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Once again we had to drag ourselves away from the welcoming comfort of a family home. The Agates holiday home is gorgeous and the mountain views incredible. The sun was shining in a brilliant blue sky for the second day in a row however and we knew it would be madness not to take advantage of it. So back round the lake into the heart of pretty Wanaka to withdraw cash (not many amenities on the next part of our route!) and on round the lake to the turn off to Makarora, today's destination.

'Peddlers Paradise' showed that although a short day we faced a lot of steep hills and it wasn’t wrong. The hills are very steep here and after yesterday’s enormous pass our legs were not feeling too perky. Yet more ridiculously spectacular scenery kept us going but when we stopped for our first break by the serene Lake Hawea we had to munch down a packet of gingernuts to boost the flagging energy levels.

The next blast to lunch included more steep climbs, but after crossing over 'The Neck’, a pass separating Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, we picnicked in the sun overlooking the snowy mountain/brilliant blue lake vista. Heavenly. Mikey was very pleased with himself as he had just set a new PB of 40.3 mph on one of the descents. I try not to look at the speedometer on the downhill as it freaks me out.

The last 14 miles should have been a fairly flat hours blast, but a powerful headwind after lunch made it a tough 2hr slog. Nevermind, we arrived in the tiny township of Makarora at 3.30pm and set up in the lovely lodge campsite very happily. It’s a funny place, apparently with a population of 60, but we can’t see any houses apart from the cabins in the camping ground. The shop in the campsite is the local shop, and the attached bar, the only pub.

After another boiling hot Kiwi shower we headed to the bar for a warming drink by the fire. Mikey mentioned to the friendly  barman we were on bikes, and after he gave us lots of info on the route ahead, the chef came out and gave us 4 pies!

We’ve just scoffed two each for our supper in front of the log burner in the kitchen (with some healthy cauliflower) – delicious and just what we needed to fuel us up for tomorrow’s challenge, the Haarst Pass. In the Kitchen we met some friendly Canadians who gave us some great ideas for our route and sadly let us know that campsites in Canada are not the 5* luxury we’ve grow accustomed to here!

We’re now back in the cosy bar, finally updating this blog and watching the 30 backpackers who’ve just turned up in a coach. The barman says that they arrive 3x a week on the Kiwi Experience bus and should be singing karaoke and dancing on the tables later! Might go to bed before then…

Miles cycled: 42 and the hills keep coming!
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triciagick on

You two continue to stagger us totally - what amazing experiences you are having and what fantastic views. The New Zealanders, topped by the Agates, seem so kind - apart from the policemen - where's their sense of humour? Talking of which Pols - I had an extemely lucky escape yesterday when I parked outside the library at 2.38pm and put my usual few extra minutes on the voucher - said it was 2.45 - just got to the end of the road and saw the inevitable warden seconds from my car. Thought to myself, fair cop - I must have already had my money's worth over the years. What an understanding kind lady, when I returned - no ticket - result!! New Zealand police should take a leaf out of her book xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jojo on

So glad I caught up withe the travels before CJB and I go off for a week. what an amazing country - you run ot of superlatives just looking a some of the pictures, it's not suprising Tony fell in love with the place and never looked back - his real talent when he first went out was his training of the sheep dogs and he had obviously passes the gift on to Jimmy. Knocked crossword on the head with Tricia this morning and she and Betty are joining us in our little cottage in depest rural France on Tuesday for the night which should be jolly good fun. Catch up with you when we get back.
LOL Jojo

Mum and Dad on

What stunning scenery.Certainly is a very beautiful country.Hope the legs are feeling better-certainly putting them to the test on those steep hills.Love the sheep dogs-such clever animals .xxxx

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