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New Zealand 2004

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Journal for 26-Jan-2004 : Twizel

Dark overcast skies as we left Fairly.

Heavy clouds progressed to rain by Bourke Pass village.

Bourke Pass the first serious pass in the bag. Actually not that serious. Only 1km of modest climbing. Yesterday's foothills were harder. Scenery on the other side of the range rather dry and barren. Actually stopped raining for a bit.

Met some American cyclists we'd seen previously at Fairly and Geraldine at Lake Tekapo. The ladies of the party hitched a ride in the sag wagon (understandable given the lovely weather - a good reason not to have one). The guys were slogging up the hill in the rain.

Thousands of Japanese Tourists at Lake Tekapo. The "Church of the Good Shepherd" sits on a short pensinsula overlooking the fabulous Lake Tekapo. The water is a beautiful turquoise colour, even on miserable days like this.

We cycled on towards Twizal, riding by a canal. The road was perfectly level, but at times it felt like we were climbing to the stratosphere. The canal snaked along the valley cliff as the floor fell away.

Salmon are farmed in the canal. A slimy oil slick stretches downstream of the pens.

Rain Everywhere. Not much chance of seeing Mt Cook. Not much chance of seeing 5ks in front of us. At the end of the Canal the road drops 150m in no time, which was quite exciting as our waterlogged brakes seemed rather ineffective at times, though mine did a good job of gouging bits of metal from my rims.

Gentle downhill (and down wind) to Twizel, and oddly laid out ex-Hydro town where the accommodation is plentiful, the internet very expensive and the food is, well, eatable. Having cycled 100km over mountains without much of a break (too wet) this is low praise indeed!

Oh, and a travel tip: If you are eating at the Twizal pub, it might be an idea to order your Fish and Chips with no egg.

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