Bike Odyssey
New Zealand 2004

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Journal for 19-Feb-2004 : Makarora

Managed to ride the first 4km without our raincoats, and I even got a glimpse of the fresh snow on the peaks surrounding Wanaka. By the time I'd pointed this out to Linda the snow dusted peaks has disappeared behind the advancing rain and cloud.

The weather forecast for today mentioned something about 50kph headwinds gusting to 70kph, increasing to gale force with heavy rain before a thundery change. They even threw in something about hail. Naturally all of these came to pass as predicted.

The riding around Lake Wanaka in particular was extraordinarily difficult at times. The gusty wind threatening to throw us either off a cliff into the icy waters far below or into the oncoming traffic, or both simultaneously. All the while we were being dumped on and occasionally pelted with ice.

There are some sensational views of the Southern Alps to be had across Lake Wanaka from State Highway 6. We know this from our previous visit. Today we could barely see the road in front of us through all the rain, let alone the lake or the mountains on the other side of it.

Arrived at Makarora just as the next storm front from Antarctia was coming over. The wind died down a bit, to be replaced by even heavier rain (which I'd have never believed possible) and a rumbling thunderstorm that lasted for 6 hours.

Do I need to say that *everything* is wet?

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