This week was mostly spent following the Inland Scenic Route, through rolling farmland and the foothills of the alps. As we got closer to the southern alps and the alpine lakes, we got some incredible views of the mountains.
At the start of the week we had some lovely sunny days, but this soon changed and we endured a few days and nights of near constant rain. One of the rainy days we spent a good few hours camped out in Valley Breweys Cafe, scoffing chips and sampling all of their beers. This spell of bad weather (and our poor not-so-waterproof-anymore tent) resulted in a string of interesting nights sleeping in various warm and dry places, from T.V rooms to huge lodges.
We climbed up Burkes Pass to Lake Tekapo, and had a brilliant afternoon on a gravel cycle track following the Tekapo Canal. Unfortunatly our views of Mount Cook were obscured by the thick cloud and rain. Here we joined the Alps to Ocean cycle trail.
The Alps to Ocean trail took us from Lake Pukaki to Oamaru, following the Waitaki valley to the sea. It was really scenic, great views of the mountains and hills, and load of small planes and gliders.
The route got hillier as we approached the coast, and we saw Maori cave paintings and the Elephant Rocks. From Oamaru we followed tiny coastal roads south to Dunedin.
The rain finally stopped, and the last few days have been blue skies, blistering sunshine and hot! The little coastal roads were constantly climbing and descending, and as well as beautiful sea views, we saw the Moeraki Boulders. We also tried kiwi pavlova and fudge ice creams, the kiwi was best.
We will reach Dunedin for Christmas, as planned, and are looking forward to a couple of days off tour, and making tour usual Christmas dinner!
Jim’s words – Gorge, Speedy, Paddle, Canal, Lodge, Limestone and Boulder.