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New Zealand 2004

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Journal for 6-Feb-2004 : Papatowai

Nice looking morning leaving Balclutha.

Actual fun riding (something of a rarity in NZ so far) down the Clutha River Valley.

Walked down to Tunnel Hill Tunnel.

Snacks at Owaka, then "Goss's Hill" (I think), 186m, which we seemed to climb in less than 1.5ks and in over 20 minutes.

Horseshoe and Matai Falls a very nice walk.

Papatowai River crossed at the bottom of a steep hill by a narrow single lane bridge.

Met pair of French girls in the camp ground cyclign Australia and New Zealand, being dogged by rain.

This is Whaitangi Day, New Zealand's national day where the signing of the treaty of Whaitangi (where the Maori ceded sovereignty to the British Crown in exchange for land title, the terms of which are still being argued over), so this touristy area is quite popular. All four of Papatowai's motel rooms had been booked out.

Walked out to the beach amid intermittent showers and bursts of ridiculously strong wind blasting sand all through the air (think images of people trying to walk into the wind in an Antarctic blizzard - and don't worry about making the image warmer). Great cliffs along the coast stretching back to Christchurch.

The Catlin's coast is a rather undeveloped semi-forested (in spite of the map's designation). It is named after Captain Cattlin, who was able to purchase the entire region from the local Maori (who weren't impressed enough with the weather here to stay permanently either) for not much. It has since been extensively logged and is now becoming something of a tourist centre (at least on the Whaitangi Day long weekend) and cyclists. The latter will no doubt be encourage by the news efforts to seal the road through here are well underway. Just not finished yet :- (.

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