Blue Skies Return to West Coast

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

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Where I stayed
Harihari Motor Camp

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The 10:30 am showing of Moving West almost didn't happen. Pols and I were the only customers and they had a policy whereby they only ran the movie if 4 people had bought tickets.  I cunningly bought 2 extra child tickets boosting their sales to the required 4 and we were in.  An empty cinema and a very enjoyable production which involved a helicopter flying in over the Southern Ocean up and around Mount Cook and the surrounding glaciers.  It was great to see the unique natural wanders which we have been cycling through from a different perspective.  The eighties soundtrack made the whole experience all the more enjoyable.

Back out into the sun, and it really was sunny today, we set off for a gentle 40 miles to Harihari.  Snowy peaks which had been masked by the clouds over the last few days emerged and looked glorious against the blue skies.  The cycling was easy, a surprisingly flat 20 miles before lunch, punctuated only by a lovely stop at Lake Mapourika, where a jetty reaching out to dead still waters was too good not to pose on for some carefully constructed photo timer shots.

We found a beautiful church to sit outside for lunch. Whatoroa was another built up area along the West Coast. 200 people live in this community, I think we saw most of them pass by in the hour we spent there.  The sandflies continue to try and disrupt such moments of relaxation, my legs are itchy to the extreme but at least my fat hand has returned to near normal size.

After lunch we enjoyed another quick and flat 10 miles before reaching Mount Hercules.  The name rang alarm bells but the climb, though steep, was no worse than any we have faced over the last week. We also know it is the last hill before Greymouth which means tomorrow should be hill free. 

Down the other side and into the town of Harihari, this place has a booming population of 600.  It is not the not the most happening of places but it has all we need. I managed to temporarily fix the broken tent pole from last nights horrific wind and rain, I’m not sure the plasters from the first aid kit will be a long term solution to a snapped tent pole but for tonight the tent resembles the dome it should be.

We just met a very funny lady who runs the only shop in town (actually that’s not true, there is a clothes shop which opens every Thursday!) and she told us how she thinks Somerset is the most heavenly place on earth.  She went there last year after attending her first gay wedding in Brighton.

Tonight we are going to plan our final three weeks in New Zealand and then make a decision on whether to cycle home to New York from Los Angeles or Vancouver.

Miles cycled:  40 sunny and steady mountain and lake vista filled miles.
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Lindy on

Just posted a comment and then discovered that there were 3 more days updated - think my computer is a tad slow!!! It all looks stunning except for the sand flies - will they go as you head further north? Think your photos are brilliant - what will you do with them at the end - write a book??
Love Lindy

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