What a contrast to the West Coast. Lush green forests and forest bird song have been replaced by golden grasses rippling in the breeze, vast tree-less plains, distant white-capped mountains, brown hills and the song of sky larks. The only similarity is the stunning turquoise blue we saw in the Hokitika gorge expanded now into lakes, rivers and canals.
Staying at Jenny and Trevor’s holiday place is a big help with Twizel right on the A2O (Alps to Ocean) track. This is a very ambitious 300 km ride, and the only way we can do it is with support to help with transport. The shuttles are booked up and have trailers for bikes that won’t fit the Motom. We may need to miss sections of the track which will be impassable with the Motom, so having the ability to get pick ups at certain points is helpful. It is important for my MND not to overdo things, so being able to limit my rides if I need to through arranging an early pick up is also wise. So we appreciated my parents, Barbara and Brian, arriving to support our rides, and they are always good company.
Our first ride was Lake Tekapo to Twizel, the alternative route to Aoraki to Twizel, because of the three-wheeler. We started around 3pm after a morning of work.
Much of our ride had no one around, no houses, no farm animals, just scenery and blue sky with the odd cloud as far as they eye could see and the blue water of the canal and lakes – Tekapo and Pukaki. The exceptions were a couple of cyclists and a few people fishing on the canals. The ride was almost all very quiet, well away from the main road, riding alongside canals (including 2 salmon farms), past a power station, across a golden plain complete with rabbits, and along Lake Pukaki to enjoy the turquoise blue water and views, gorgeous!
Six tricky barriers required a high lift over – this was pretty hard work (for Matt), and much better the three times another cyclist was there and helped. The cyclists got a ride on the Motom in exchange which (as always) resulted in big smiles.
We arrived in Twizel about 7pm with a nice early evening light and dinner and a wine with my parents.
Ride: 59 km, total for the trip 322 km.