Marzec 6th, 2009

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OAMARU – DUNEDIN (7-9/02/09)

piątek, Marzec 6th, 2009

Oamaru has rather nice preserved historic docks section of town. Saturday night was spend in Penguins Entertainers Club featuring three bands – all of them heavy metal!!! Fortunately we managed to escape a heavy session when John and Kelly, a couple of locals, took us on a night time walk to see some real live penguins. Thanks guys!

After Oamaru we discovered another pleasant back road away from the traffic with more fords to paddle through although my attempt to cycle across ended in failure. See Ola’s photos for short movie.

Our attempts to avoid busy roads have not always been successful. After Hampden (Scottish football fans will appreciate this place named after our national football stadium), we cycled through Trotters Gorge and Horse Range Summit at 240 metres. It may not seem very high but was one of those steep climbs where the legs did not fully appreciate the steepness until the next day!

As a consequence of the Trotters Gorge detour and the prospect of cycling over Mt Cargill we did not make Dunedin in time for motel with the Sky Rugby Channel so I could watch Scotland v Wales match at 3am. Probably just as well given the score. We did cycle Mt Cargill the following day in very wet, cold, windy, misty conditions with visibility around 100 metres. Temperature on arrival in Dunedin was 14C degrees!

PETE’S PLACE & MT COOK (3-7/02/09)

piątek, Marzec 6th, 2009

After Christchurch it was on to Timaru to meet with former BT colleague – Pete Smith – Womble (Wimbledon) supporter. Peter has a rather nice place set in very beautiful countryside about 30 km from Timaru. Our intended chill-out turned out to be one planned rest day plus one inforced rest day while we attempted to arrange to hire a car for a couple of days to see Mt Cook. Alternative was estimated 5 days cycling including 55 km up and back down a dead-end road which most touring cyclists dislike – including us!

Mt Cook – fantastic everything – the drive there and back – the scenery – the Edmund Hillary Visitor Centre – walk to view glacier – views of Mt Cook – but unfortunately the weather too bad to view Mt Cook from the air and land on the glacier.

Following our trip to Mt Cook it was another night at Pete’s place (thanks again Pedro/Piotr!) then drive to Timaru to return the car and start cycling again towards Oamaru. We were fortunate enough to get off the main highway and find a rather interesting traffic free gravel road with fords to paddle across.