Hump Day (41km)
Jan 22, 2016
|There was no wind when we woke round 8am and the sky was brilliant blue. By the time we had made lunches and packed, the wind had picked up and there were clouds rolling in from all directions.
It was hard to say goodbye to our beautiful house, and I had a final coffee on the veranda, enjoying the view.
As we had done the rail trail to Oturehua already we decided to shave 2kms off our ride by taking the road towards town. There was quite a strong cross wind, and we knew we had 10km uphill.
The ride up was relentless but not steep so we were covering a steady 12km per hour, except for Lance who had zoomed on ahead at around 16km per hour.
We stopped just before the highest point, to take photos at the 45 degree south latitude which placed us exactly half way between the equator and Antarctica. 400m further on, we reached the highest point on the rail trail. Another photo stop. From there it was downhill to Wedderburn. After the long uphill, we flew down the other side. Great views and easy cycling. We could see rain on many fronts around us but we were only experiencing a few spots.
At Wedderburn lodge there was an information centre and the opportunity to watch some videos about the rail trail. However, concerned about possible rain we decided to push on to Ranfurly. Cycling was suddenly fun, a gentle downhill slope and we were hitting over 30kms per hour at some points. Before we knew it, we were in Ranfurly.
We pulled up to the old railway station, now a tourist information centre, and left our bikes to wander through the town. We started with the information centre, and being the tourists that we are, purchased a red rail trail cushion cover which we thought would look great on our dark grey couch on the deck.
Ranfurly actually had two 4 square supermarkets, which seemed a bit odd, and we checked out both to determine the best place for shopping. One had a decidedly better selection than the other. Before shopping we needed to have lunch to make room for our purchases.
We sat on the station and ate under cover as the rain closed in. It didn't last long, but it was nice to know we were dry regardless.
Back to the chosen supermarket, we loaded a trolley with supplies for the next few days, knowing there was nowhere else to buy supplies until we returned to Queenstown. We had planned for this, and Georgia had two empty panniers awaiting. We sat at the old station and emptied wine bottles into our plastic "wine to go" 750 ml foldable bottles. They had seen a few bottles over the past weeks as we had tried a variety of local wines. Without fail, all the Central Otago Pinot noirs and Pinot Gris had been superb. If only we had time to try a few more!
Food all packed we hit the trail again, next stop Waipiata and the turn off to Peters Farm lodge. Again we made good time and the lodge was around 4km from the trail. It was an old mud brick house, and many of the original features still existed, including original wallpaper and aga.
Peter gave us a tour of the house, and a few suggestions as to the best way to spend our day tomorrow. We cooked up a storm, making enough chicken curry for dinner tonight and our first night in Middlemarch as well as cooking burgers and onions for our ride to Middlemarch. There was another family staying in one of the cottages so we had a chat to them whilst they waited for Peter to cook their BBQ dinner, which we will enjoy tomorrow night, along with 13 others. Apparently there are 17 for the BBQ dinner tomorrow night.
Peter popped in and out, clearly being one for a chat, and was very impressed that we had brought our bikes with us. Apparently that is most unusual. He was also interested in our travels on the Clutha Gold and Roxburgh trails as not many of his visitors had done them in the past
Dinner done and maths homework done, there was going to be time for cards tonight. Si and I had finally learnt Big 2 so maybe another repeat.