Oamaru and more

We had dinner with friends in Oamaru at the “Fat Sallys” and celebrated the end of our ride. Enjoyed our cool back packers for the night. Then in the morning wandered around Oamaru again. Some cool shops to explore. Purchasing some souvenirs etc. Called the into the cheese factory then started driving north. Timaru for lunch and browsing a bike shop there. Arrived in chch about 3 and did a shop for diner as we were cooking diner at Daves place to celebrate his birthday. And also chatting with Krissy and Mark who kindly have us to stay.

Today (Thursday) we spent the morning dismantling the bikes and packing them up in their boxes.

Soon we’ll be back home again after a wonderful ride through awesome country side. Mountains, Hills, rivers, tunnels, bridges, dams, canals, lakes, weirs, calm days, wind, rain, floods, sunshine and amazing views. We had the full spectrum. As well as towns and villages, people and if course the NZ icon of the local 4 Square!

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Island cliffs to Oamaru

Well after a stormy night there was much discussion. Geoff liked the idea of driving to Oamaru. But I thought we should head off and see how it went. Well the rain parted as we set off and we negotiated quite a few deep puddles with out getting out feet wet until one big one we under estimated. Bother cold wet feet! But no rain as we headed up the big hill. Phew. I new then that there were no more big hills. Cruised along the ridge then some great downhills and thru the rail tunnel. We had agreed to meet Ambrose and Natasha in windsor for coffee. Well nothing was open and the rain began. We continued on. Turned right then left into a farm track. Thru some deep puddles then into one that was nearly waist deep. The local farmer called to us to turn back. Quite a sight. Shame we didnt get the cameras out. So we waded back called Ambrose to come and get us. By then we were freezing and feet like blocks of ice. As we loaded the bikes onto the car we saw 2 bikers riding past. I wonder what they did. Tje road ahead of us was closed to flooding so we had to drive in a huge circle to get about 4 ks down the road. I wanted to start riding again once we were past the flooding. But I was overruled. And probably rightly so considering how long it took to thaw out in the shower. Stopped by the A2O sign at the ocean on the way to our backpackers. Once thawed we nipped into Oamaru for a coffee and the steampunk HQ. Plus I found a wool shop!

What a day

Kurow to island cliffs

Well as Geoff said the fridge door has opened! And the wind has turned around. So we headed off with 4 marino layers a neck scarf and 2 raincoats on. The trail said closed due to flooding rivers ( there are 3 river crossings that are normally ok to cross). We decided to give it a try and see how we go. Otherwise is riding highway 83 which is awful. Lovely ride along the river. We managed to cross 2 rivers. Shoes off, freezing water, luckily we travel with a wee towel to dry the feet. Then we met our match with the third river. So we had to follow the flood path across farm land under electric fences over styes etc to get to the main road and over the bridge then back on the trail and along to the maori art cliffs. Oh dear another closed sign for the trail that we took no notice of which was lucky as there were no flooded parts. But we did have the wind on the nose all the we to Duntroon. Nothing open in Duntroon so we ate our sandwiches in a wee bus shelter thing that they called the information centre. Thirteen kms to go but they we hard and hilly and we had some hail thrown in too. Went passed the elephant rocks and through where they filmed aslam’s lair in the lion the witch and the wardrobe. Oh dear our accomodation is 4 ks off the trail!!!!! 4 more ks!!!! That went on for ever but worth it to be greated with a lovely farmhouse and corn beef cooking away and the fire burning.

Omarama to Kurow

Given the forecast that whether was coming in this arvo, we decided to make an early start. And we achieved a departure of 8 am after another cooked breakfast and making our lunch sandwiches. Lovely cycle trail around the lake to sailors cutting. Then we were in the busy road for a while. A big climb up a saddle then a huge decent down to Otamatata. And there was a cute coffee cart. So Geoff had his first coffee on the ride. Onwards cos we have 68 ks to do today. Turned left and we cruised on towards Benmore hydro station and dam. A steep climb up and then stunning views as we rode across the top. Back down and then a long ride around the lake. Passed lots of camping sites with caravans etc. the wind was getting up but luckily it was behind us all the way. Crossing the Avimore dam was really windy. Back on the main road for a while was not nice. They are making a trail on some of it by the looks which is well needed. Finally we were off the road and a new trail up the hill and over into Kurow.

Ambrose and Natasha have arrived in Kurow so we’ve sorted out the holiday park and visited the 4 square for diner supplies.