Left earlier today, the sun is out and there's only the occassional wisp of a cloud. A glorious day. Riding towards Collingwood, pulled over to eat oranges [tangelos] walked through some trees by a sign marked Milnthorpe
Park on the side of the road. The MiniDisc isn't working properly and there's a wealth of birdsong here, so mightily annoyed about that, but enjoying it nonetheless.
First Bellbird I've heard since being here. Today is a wonderful sunny warm day. Riding is mostly enjoyable but the traffic does spoil things, car drivers do not consider cyclists here, and it can be quite scary when the cars come so
close, especially up hills when there's another car coming in the opposite direction.
From here the clump of trees at the end of Farewell Spit
can be seen across the tufts of foam in the bay pushed by the mild wind at sea. Tuis are darting from tree to tree, busy time for them in this paradise. At the shore about 2 kms away, the occassional Gannet is gliding by looking for shoals in the tidal region.
Fish and chips at the Collingwood Cafe, $4.20, nice and fresh. Pretty quiet and very laid back, the sun is steely and bright. The cafe is opposite Farewell Spit Safaris so will investigate booking a trip and check times, tides etc. Tempted to book into a backpackers and stay the night here. It's the kind of place you just kick back and watch the world go by. A small museum looks quaint and uninteresting , I want to stay outside in this heat in any case. While it's hot, there's a sea breeze to keep you cool. After the ride here, just want to chill.
Visited the Old Cemetry of early settlers then returned to shops for water and oranges. Made my way south on highway 60 then turned off onto the Plain Road. At last, a quiet metalled road, only 2 vehicles passed me, one a shepherd. At one point, a huge herd of dairy cattle was crossing the road and seemed shocked by the sight of me. This valley is VERY fertile, reminiscent of Tweedale with mixed healthy grazing.
On a steep downhill, a water bottle came out of the cage. A little later was the entrance to the Te Anaroa Caves, turned left and onto the Devils Boots then down a stone road, on which the panier hook became entangled in the spokes and I came off. Graze no. 2 to my left knee this time. Secured panier and onto Aorere Goldfields through a secure gate. A playground for 4WD and mountain bikes, at last!
3.40pm: Resting by a stream before setting off on the track to the river. Phoned Papa to let him know I may be later than dinner. A location away from the sound of motors.
Went further up the track and got my first puncture! Took off rear wheel and found the hole by dipping innertube into the stream. Thank you Natural High, Nelson for including the puncture repair kit and pump, although not too certain the correct side of the patch is glued, soon find out! Will give the glue a good half hour to dry, then reinflate and check in the stream. Couldn't have happened in a nicer spot!
5:24, puncture is fixed and checked and ready to roll home.
Photos: 2nd January