Joined July 2017 Message
  • Day25

    Heading north...

    March 18 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Today we travelled north to Kaikoura as a stopover before make the strait crossing again.
    But before that we have spent 5 days with Nan. These have been fairly quiet days - Nan is not much up for going out these days and the weather was pretty ordinary - some showery days and cool too - 12/13 degrees.
    We went for a couple of bike rides - yesterday did about 20km around town.
    Our days were pretty much - breakfast, me drive down to the "Triangle Cafe" - bring home coffee - do Wordle - think of something to do for the rest of the day.
    Repeat coffee run again at 3.

    We had some gear to swop with Mary & Bob so arranged to meet for lunch at Woodbury (inland from Geraldine) - Nan was coming too, but she cancelled at the last minute - the cafe at Woodbury was pretty good and we spent a nice time there.
    When the rain was forecast I decided to do some photos in Nan's garden while there was some sunlight and I was happy with those.
    We packed last night and things went smoothly and on the road to have lunch with Lorraine - we got some Sourdough at Raewood. Lorraine made a great vegetarian soup - and we had some pudding with coffee to follow.
    We left Lorraine just after 3 - the drive to Kaikoura was great - light traffic and some sun for a change.
    Nicks bike rack has worked well - very easy to get bikes on and off and we got the system of off loading and re loading cases, bags and stuff, perfected.
    The sea in the strait tomorrow look ok, so we should get a good trip.
    Looking forward to catching up with some Wellingtonians over the weekend.
    Next week the house painting starts
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  • Day20

    Farewell rugged and beautiful south.....

    March 13 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Yesterday we packed our stuff and began the return drive to Ashburton. It wasn't too early up, but showers, breakfast and packing seemed to go pretty well and we were ready to leave before 10:00.
    We said our farewells and got into our separate cars and left.
    As Shotover Country is on the outskirts of Queenstown we were soon in the beautifully rugged countryside and on our way to Clyde - yes we had to make a short excursion to Clyde to pick up a bike helmet that someone left at Shebikeshebikes. Once we had retrieved our belongings we took the opportunity to have a coffee and date scone at Oliver's cafe outside in the morning sun.
    Then we headed back to Cromwell and took the road to Tarras and on passed Pukaki and Tekapo. As we drove passed Tekapo Aoraki was clear in all its splendor and of course the lake was its normal milky blue.
    We stopped in Tekapo for a late lunch, but before that we both took a RAT test - we didn't want to get passed Temuka before taking the test we said we would do before arriving at Nan's place. It was a bit tricky in the car with all the little packets and containers. Gran went first and then me - before we left the car to go for lunch we could see already that Gran was negative and later mine was the same. Mary and Bob have subsequently done the same with clear results.
    After lunch Gran took over the driving duties and drove the rest of the way home to Ashburton - getting home about 5.
    We will be here until Friday when we will travel as far as Kaikoura and sail next day (unless they change the sailings)
    And so we had a great time in the south - we had lots of fun times with Mary and Bob - they did such a good job making most of the arrangements - it is a part of New Zealand that we love - the scenery is outstanding (as you know).
    And so I will end this post to tell you that the photo attached is repeated because when I posted it on Instagram I got a message from the Central Otago Tourism asking permission to us it on their website and social media channels - and I have given them permission. I remember when we stopped beside the Clutha river near the start of the Clutha Gold trail the scene was magic.
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    Am glad you had a lovely COVID free holiday. And yes, that is a beautiful pic.


    Fantastic photo - how awesome to have it used by them!

  • Day18


    March 11 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    It was a late start today and we all had a few after effects from yesterday - it was clear that the ride in the sun had taking a toll on our poor old bodies.
    But we mustered up enough strength to get in the car and drive to Arrowtown for brunch at Provisions. There was a good crowd at the café and we thoroughly enjoyed our brunch and coffee and bought some of the last four "sticky buns" to take home for afternoon tea. We wandered up and down the main street and sometime near the river - I took some photos too.
    We got home early afternoon and we all had a nap - and felt a lot better for that. Had our "sticky buns" and planned the evening meal.
    Bob and I went and picked up the Italian dishes we had ordered online and bought 1kg of Gelato - that was a spur of the moment thing.
    So you can see that it was a pretty easy day for us old people, but it wasn't finished yet. We sat outside in the lovely mild evening and drank a bottle of Coleraine to celebrate our achievements - then it was into the takeaways and Gelato.
    So it was good to stay that extra day so we can head back to Nan's tomorrow feeling rested and a little tanned too.
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    Well done to you all!


    What a wonderful holiday, it looks like you’ve had the best time ❤️


    We sure have. Great company,weather,biking etc etc. Loved it

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  • Day17

    Dunstan Done...

    March 10 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    Just to set the scene - we had a fabulous day - the weather was great, the trail was super and the scenery outstanding - and the company was fantastic too.
    The day started early 5:45 with ablutions and showers - breakfast, packing and on the road for Clyde just after 7:30 as we had planned - we had to be at Shebikeshebikes by 9:00.
    All of the hire bikes were lined up on the station platform - they occupy the old Clyde railway station. We packed all our supplies and emergency stuff into the paniers and after gear adjustments got our bike instructions and a quick test drive and the bikes were loaded onto the trailer and us into the van.
    It was a quick drive to Cromwell and then last minute preparations before we were off. We caught up with the Waipukurau lot as they headed off and we left 10 minutes after them.
    We started out on a pretty easy section that took us out around the Bannockburn area which includes a bridge across the Kawarau River. Then we climbed up to a beautiful point over looking the river - this was to be the first time we stopped and chatted with the Waipukurau team (about a dozen) and we would see them many times during the day.
    Our next stop was at Cornish Point were the Kawarau and Clutha rivers met.
    The scenery was just spectacular - the river was so slow moving the reflections were like a mirror.
    The tracks we were on here, and for most of the trail, was wider than I had expected and made for comfortable riding.
    Our next main stop was for coffee and there was quite a crowd there when we arrived - ordered the long blacks and they were made in 2 minutes - great service - Mary bought some chocolate brownie - and we had a good break and some more chats.
    Immediately after the coffee boat the first serious climb was next - the Cairnmure Ladder - we were all prepared for the climb with e-bikes on a higher power level and away we went. It was not too tough on the e-bike, but some of the Rotarians had muscle bikes and it was a workout for them.
    In this part (Cairnmure) we were high up on a bluff and there were great views there too.
    We stopped for photos at the trig site - another stopping point for everyone.
    There was one more climb before we came back down to the lake edge were there was 1.5km of narrower track and a few dodgy spots - no looking down.
    The clip-ons were amazing and we had no problems with them, but the hard jutty rock wall I found was too close to me at times.
    Crossed the Hugo Bridge - the longest and Bob got some photos of us crossing it. There was a corner where Gran had a wee crash - a biker had stopped to take some photos and parked his bike on the inside of the track - she just ran into and fell in a heap - needing an arm up and disentangle the bikes - she has a sore elbow as a reminder.
    And eventually around a corner we could see the Clyde Dam and things were pretty straight forward from there into town.
    We had our photo taken and gave back our bikes and changed into some different clothes.
    We went into town and saw the Waipukurau crew in a garden bar so we joined them and had a beer with them,
    Then it was on the road and return home. We opted for wraps at home outside in the setting sun.
    A great day.
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    Love the sky reflected in the water

  • Day16

    We're going to stay here for a bit....

    March 9 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    We decided today to stay another day and negotiated that with the house owner - we figured that we could be quite tired tomorrow evening and getting up and on the road might be a struggle - and after all we are on holiday and we are old too and we can do what we like.
    And today was a good example of people like us - we had a relaxed start to the day and decided to get in a warm up ride, seeing that is about 4 or 5 days since we last rode our bikes. So we geared up and drove down to an are near Kawarau Bridge where a trail started - Kelvin Peninsula trail - it was about 13 or 14 km - a good warm up. Great trail that rode out to the point near a very posh golf course - a windy trail through trees at times. It was pretty hot when we finished so we were thirsty and need of a rest when we returned home.
    At about 3 we decided to head out for lunch and Gran lead us to a new housing area and we stumbled upon a pub/restaurant. We had Blue Cod Tacos and Mary and Bob niçoise salad.
    A beer and coffee and we felt pretty good - bought two pizzas to takeaway and they were our tea.
    Then it was home for a wee nap,
    Later we went to buy some petrol - just to keep our tanks full - and got some groceries, that included some snacks for the ride tomorrow.
    I had a call this afternoon from Roy Fraser who is with a group of riders from CHB (mostly Rotarians) and they are riding tomorrow too - and it turns out we are starting from the same end so we will get together on the start line - I think for many of them it will be the last we see of them before we finish.
    We will need to gather our things together tonight - early start in the morning - a little over an hours drive in the morning.
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    Very cool!


    Is that Roy with the flash bikes?



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  • Day15

    Shifted camp....

    March 8 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We awoke to a lovely dawn this morning and made preparations to move to our new accommodation in Queenstown. We are pretty good at packing up and loading the car - Nick told me before we left Wellington that we would and as usual he was right!
    We decided to take our coffee at Cromwell and we went down to the old town and found that many of people there were preparing to set out on the Lake Dunstan trail - before as we drove from Clyde to Cromwell we noted the bikers on the trail and looked out for Mum's friend Judith who was riding it with her husband ( Mum has since spoken to Judith and she seems to have completed the trail without incident - so that's comforting).
    It was such a lovely day and it was pleasant to be enjoying the sun again.
    We drove up the Kawarau gorge - stopping off at the Roaring Meg for photos.
    We got to our house in "Shotover Country" and unpacked.
    Then we decided to go to a winery for lunch - our house owner had recommended Akarua Winery and it was a great choice. We sat out under trees in an open courtyard. We went for a platter with some additional plates and a glass of their wine - the girls Pinot Noir and Bob and I a dry Riesling.
    We so enjoyed the lunch and wine in such a lovely situation.
    Then we came back home and have done little since - Robyn & Mary went for a walk and I took a few more photos.
    Some TV and very soon bed.
    Tomorrow we think we will go for a sort ride and its been a few days now since we were on a bike.
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    Looks charming


    Love the colour of the water


    We loved looking at this too, so beautiful

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  • Day14

    We got it right...

    March 7 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    We woke up this morning to light misty rain and as the morning wore on it became steady rain, so we were pleased that we had made the right decision to postpone the Lake Dunstan ride.
    But that left us with a day to fill in and we managed to do that with very little energy required.
    Breakfast and social media kept us busy until it was time to head out for lunch - we went into Alexandra to a place called Industrial Lane - the Rail Trail goes right past it - so it would be busy in more normal times.
    Got some more groceries and somethings for dinner and returned home via Earnscleugh and Clyde.
    Mary cooked us a great dinner with salmon - another bottle of Pinot Noir - then a lie in the spa - then tea and cake for dessert.
    It's hard work this biking.
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  • Day13


    March 6 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    Today was another rest day - a relaxed breakfast and a discussion about the pending weather change - Monday is the day we have booked for the Lake Dunstan trail ride and we weren't that keen on riding in the rain from the point of safety and enjoyment. So we headed into Clyde to meet with Shebikeshebikes to see if we could change the date. And they were ok with that - so we will do the ride on Thursday - we will need to travel back from Queenstown, but that won't be a problem. We move our base to Queenstown on Tuesday.
    We had coffee in Clyde and had a bit of a wander again - then back home. Our accommodation is pretty much midway between Alexandra and Clyde.
    We had a light lunch and then a nap. The rest of the afternoon was - books, photos and phones.
    We went into Alexandra for groceries for tonights dinner - it was Gran's turn to cook. We also got a pack of RATs in the groceries too - so we can test ourselves before returning to Nan's house.
    I had time today to update some of the scenery shots I have taken and these are attached.
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    great photos, looks like your having a great trip so far.


    Such pretty colours

  • Day12

    There's gold in them thare hills.....

    March 5 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    So today was a shorter ride but we had to deal with a hill and that was a challenge.
    We started the day without rushing - packed our overnight bags and left them in the pump house for picking up later in the day.
    Mary says we started at 10:25 and we were off heading towards Lawrence, it was later that we realised that the climb began immediately and it was steady until we had a steep climb which ended at a long tunnel - it was clear that there was more to that hill but the railways decided to build a tunnel and we were grateful for that. And then we began a gradual decline which made the trail more comfortable and more fun.
    The trail was not a picturesque as the first day - riding alongside the road often and skirting the edges of farms.
    We arrived just after 12:00 and stopped at a cafe for coffee and fresh muffins. We struck up a conversation with a couple sitting outside the cafe and mentioned that we were doing next Lake Dunstan and it turned out that the husband was the guy who was attacked by the ram - we heard the story in full and saw his injuries.
    We decided to go for walk around Lawrence and then picked up our cars, loaded the bikes and off back to our chalet at Alexandra - stopping off at Millars Flat for lunch (and of course another coffee).
    Got to our chalet and unpacked - Mary, Robyn and I went for a swim to cool off and generally relaxed.
    Bob & and went back into town to get stuff for a bbq dinner and a bottle of Pinot Noir.
    It's been a pretty good day and a relaxing evening.
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    Lovely relaxed crew


    How’s the legs?


    Our legs are fine - after 4 days cycling I think we are pretty fit.


    If there is gold in the hills you could be rich! The photo under the tree looks amazing!


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