NZ | Dunedin - Ranfurly - Geraldine - Darfield - Christchurch | 05th Feb '15 - 12th Feb '15 | 4540km
“Hi, we’re looking for a cheap place to stay tonight, we’re soaked."
“Oh dear, you look freezing! There’s a few places, I’ll make some calls."
“Thanks so much.” (Shivering)
“Hmm, no one is answering…"
“Okay, thanks anyway.” (Reluctantly leaving the warmth of the small info office)
“Actually, there is one other place."
(Get’s off the phone) “That was my husband Will, we've a caravan in the garden you can sleep in. He’s lit the fire and the jug (kettle) is on."
A shining example of Kiwi kindness. We had arrived wet, cold and tired into a small town and piled into the information centre. The customer service was exceptional!
We joked that the weather was doing its best to keep us in New Zealand. Headwinds, despite Luke shouting at them, confronted us whichever way we turned (we’re doing our absolute best to uphold the reputation of whinging poms) and a drop in temperature from a rogue cold front meant a change of route on a couple of occasions. Although we took some persuading, Central Otago is actually in the middle of a drought. When the sun was out, you could see why forest fire spread quickly and bone dry riverbeds necessitated some elaborate irrigation systems.
On one of the hotter days (that are wreaking havoc with Flo’s tan lines), we crossed Dansey’s pass. After a rest day game of curling in Naseby we were just getting into the base of the climb when we were passed by a chap on an shiny orange scooter. After Flora pointed out, again, how much easier hills appeared with a motor, we caught him for a chat further up the road. He explained that he was riding around NZ to raise awareness for an illness he was himself suffering from. It turned out he was being filmed, and we even made the news! For our 3 seconds of glory, watch this video (Mums - click on 'this video'!) at about 2.45" in… textbook cycle touring formation.
The flat straight roads across the Canterbury plains were made less dull by the incentive to meet up with a familiar face from Penrith on the approach to Christchurch. It was a fleeting visit, but worth a long day in the saddle, and night camping in the woods just out of town, especially as they brought us cake… To Luke especially, any cake is very pleasing. But it’s hard to explain how happy free cake makes him.