All photos -
Never been to a planting party before.
Sheena had a concert in Arrowtown so I headed off with her.
I found somewhere to upload the latest diary then we went wine tasting.
When we got back for the neighbourhood 'post planting barbecue' we found
Nige in pain on the sofa.
Sheena took me for a walk up the hill beside Wye Creek.
The view from here is amazing - and ever changing.
I guess I should have a look at a map and decide where I'm going tomorrow.
Much as I love Sheen, it's time to be on the road.
Said my goodbyes at around 7 as Sheena was heading off to work & hit the road at around 8.
It was a little chill at that hour.
Headed over the crown ranges road, the highest tar sealed road in NZ (Not that it's high compared to the stuff in the US) but it was a real fun road to ride with some stunning views.
Am definitely in tourist mode. Stopping at every view point and for every photo opportunity.
Over the Haast pass then up the coast to Jackson bay.
On the Jackson Bay road you cross five big rivers in 20 miles that are
heading to the sea.
What they have too much of is sand flies.
The west coast is absolutely stunning - and I've only just arrived.
Had a lovely day wandering up the West coast.
Glaciers, gold fields, rain forest and some of the best roads I've ridden in ages.
Unfortunately it was a little cloudy so I didn't see the Southern Alps in all their splendour, just the occasional glimpse.
And bike leathers aren't the best clothing for hiking.
Blue skies at 8 am.
Out bright and early (well early anyway).
Over Arthurs Pass - cracking road - to Christchurch where I picked up
my e-mail then up the coast to Kaikoura for a couple of nights.
A number of folks told me I should do the whale watching thing, so I
figured I should.
Really quite stunning.
A number of people on the trip were seasick, but I found myself giggling.
After watching two sperm whales, and taking stupid amounts of photos we headed in, only to find ourselves in the middle of a school of playing dolphins.
Now I'm back to the mundane world of laundry.
Woke to sunshine & blue skies at 8 this morning.
But what to do ?
About half way there is a little resort called Hanmer Springs. A spa
town with thermal baths.
Got in to a campsite (in a cabin) by 11 am - and got the last cabin.
Hanmer springs is quite small, but a good cafe, sunshine and a book filled the day quite nicely.
Today definitely felt 'holiday' rather than 'explore'.
I also think I've figured out how they decide which direction has right
of way on one lane bridges.
Another day, another book.
It rained on and off so I spent most of the day on the deck (pronounced deek) of the cabin reading.
I did meet a German couple who have shipped there bike here and after
a few months in NZ & Oz plan to ride back to Germany across Asia.
Nice folks - and I wish them luck.
Back on the bike.
It's a little chill first thing and on the approach to the Lewis Pass I put the waterproofs on - mostly for the cold but there were storms a brewing.
I came over the Lewis in cloud and it's been damp, if not raining, since.
Took a detour past Blackball and passed two one way bridges that completely knackered my 'right of way' theory.
Had a wonderful lunch in Greymouth (an otherwise forgettable town) and headed north.
Wandered round the Pancake Rocks & Blowhole at Punakaiki. The tide was out so I didn't get to see the 'blow' but it was still quite a sight.
Running up the coast was amazing - on one side the ocean, on the other
a rain forest.
In Westport for the night.
It's pissing down.
Headed up the coast to Karamea - couldn't see much through the rain.
Back through Westport in the continuing rain and east towards Nelson.
The gorges looked like they might be quite spectacular - if I could see them properly.
The rain finally eased around Lyell.
Stopped at Murchison for the night.
Headed north for Golden Bay.
The road north of Motueka is interesting.
Got to Collingwood by 2 pm. and got the last motel room.
Beautiful little village almost completely surrounded by water.
Took a walk on the beach & watched the water for a while.
I also found a place where I can get the laptop on line so I'll post this tomorrow - not the biggest diary as I haven't gone off on a rant recently but there's loads of photos.
An aside -