Sand Fly Sabotage

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

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Where I stayed
Haast Lodge

Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, May 22, 2011

I managed to sleep pretty well after calming down from the invasion of idiot backpackers in the campsite bar last night. What they do is rock up on a coach, eat some rubbish bar food, drink loads of beer and then try and be all crazy by doing karaoke or toasting marshmallows on the open fire.  The next morning they get back on their coach, stop off to be nuts again by doing a bungee jump and then go and do it all again in some other beautiful spot which should be reserved for people who appreciate the complete tranquillity places like South Island present.  I am officially adding backpackers to my list of groups I don't like.  They are most definitely joining bus drivers and scuba divers.

The day on the bike was great, it is no exaggeration to say that in 50 miles we passed absolutely no buildings, we encountered only a few cars and we saw waterfalls, crystal clear mountain rivers, roaring white water rapids, steep rain forested hillsides, gorges and glaciers.  The only downer on the whole day were the sand flies. We have been warned about them but up until this point we have had no problems, but today they attacked.  We sat down for lunch and before you can say "tuna mayonnaise" we were covered. Pols was protected by her leggings but I was an easy target in my shorts.  The bites on my legs were too many to count, we had to drop the sandwiches and run.

We were the faced with a problem.  We needed to stop for more food as we were beginning to struggle but we knew this left us open to another attach from the sand flies.  Another unsuccessful attempt further away from the river left us hungry still.  The chocolate stop an hour later was done on the run, I think these little biters may be more of a problem over the coming days.

Arriving at Haast Lodge we were greeted by a friendly faces.  Our Swedish buddies we met n Queenstown had also just arrived.  Unfortunately they were missing a bike due to a major mechanical problem.  After a supermarket sweep we all settled down for a cosy evening by the fire. 

Miles cycled: 50 on the nose
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betty on

Just caught up with your New Zealand travels. Whatever sort of dogs does Toany use as sheepdogs? Interesting all that sheep farming in NZ. Have you been through recognisable Lord of the Rings country yet? Take care. Love from Betty

triciagick on

Those sand flies do not sound amusing - you've got to eat, so what's the answer? Mosquito net leggings - no you've sent the nets home!! Can't wait to see photos of the Glaciers.

Elizabeth on

Hey guys, glad that NZ is being so amazing (apart from the police, sandflies and backpackers!). All is good here with G on a weeks leave and the weather is all good! T'is G's bday on Friday so having the traditional bbq - perhaps we can manage some skypige? Right off to work - Boo!


Lindy on

Been catching up - hope you are now away from the sand flies. NZ looks amazing and it must be bliss cycling without all the hassle of trucks etc. Think your autumn is a lot better than our alleged summer - weather here is atrocious - had the scariest landing on Monday night at Glasgow airport - think we were the last plane to get in - 80 mph gales and the threat of more volcanic ash!!! Has been pouring since then - I am becoming stir crazy - thank heavens for the blog
Take care Love Lindy

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