Through a mixture of connectivity issues and general laziness there is a bit of catching up to do!
In the Middle of the Night
Our stay in the Makarora sheds was great and I think everyone appreciated that the rather basic accommodation was a price worth paying. Overnight there was heavy rain which fell as snow on the higher ground so we awoke with distant white peaks all around us.
The ride to Wanaka is stunning in any circumstances but with clear skies and the snow-capped mountains it brought a grin to everyone’s face.
Everyone was in to Wanaka nice and early and did whatever took their fancy. I took advantage of a nice hotel room to do exactly nothing but watch awful kiwi television but then………..bloody Norah!!!! The first episode of the latest Top Gear series. Oh bliss.
Blowin In The Wind
On Monday we did the 52 mile ride to Queenstown BUT using the highest paved road in NZ, over the Crown Range. The day is basically up and over one big hill with 3000 feet of climb. It was one of the very rare occasions that it is acceptable to deploy the adjective Awesome. As we started the climb we came across a fence festooned with bras. Apparently it all started in 1999 with 5 and has since grown to thousands. On the other side of the road the boys have clearly started a rival attempt but, being boys, it is all a bit half-arsed with half a dozen pairs of grubby pants hanging forlornly on the wire.
At the top of the climb was a stunning vista with Queenstown and the lake below us and the road falling away in a series of hairpins. Just to add to the spectacle and Air NZ jet flew past BELOW us on its final approach to the airport.
I Only Want To Be With You
The relevance of the song lies in the band name (note it is NOT the Dusty Springfield version).
We spent Monday night in Queenstown, tourism capital of South Island and Adrenalin Sports capital of the known universe. We got in early so I set up my command post outside the motel with the mountains for wallpaper.
The Railway Hotel in Murchison isn’t really a hotel and there isn’t actually a railway for that matter. It is another pub with rooms but actually very nice and the menu promises me a plate sized steak so I have nothing to complain about. It was a longish 70 miles to get here but with beautiful clear skies and pleasant scenery and I am now writing this twaddle from the beer garden. Tomorrow we finish riding but first there is a steak to eat.