Scenic Otago Ride and a New MND Friend

Our rest day was a great idea, with a relaxed start to the day, visit to the magnificent Aoraki (Mt Cook), some work, and dinner out with Brian and Barbara (parents) at a Thai restaurant.

While sad to farewell Twizel where we had magical days, we have time limitations with other trails to ride. I’m so enthusiastic, I want to do as many as I can. So we decamped to Arrowtown via a 25 km ride from Smith’s Way to Carrick Vineyard at Lake Dunstan, with Barbara and Brian doing a great job collecting our car and getting it to the vineyard when we arrived. The ride was very easy and enjoyable comprising wide, gravelled lake-side paths with beautiful views across the lake with a few boats and bathers, to the rocky steep hills opposite with occasional green patches from vineyards.

We arranged to meet Lynley at Carrick Vineyard, at the end of our ride. Lynley is a fellow MND sufferer diagnosed 2 years ago, the first MND sufferer I’ve met in person. It was very helpful to compare notes – it appears that there are differences between regions in how people are managed, perhaps indicating disadvantages being in Auckland for access or referrals to care. My dictus splints took multiple phone calls and emails and a threat of an HDC complaint to finally get them 5 months after they were prescribed, which is burdensome and contrasts with immediate access to aids in Otago.

We wanted to see if the Motom could fit over a couple of bridges over the nearby river for our trails tomorrow, so I went out with the Motom and Dad and we did the local short river loop and squeezed over the bridges ok. This was an attractive undulating track in the shade of trees and with the river alongside.

Ride: 25 km Lake Dunstan, 5 km Arrowtown. Total to date: 430km

We have now driven about 2,600 km. For those not familiar with the place names I am been listing, here is our travel so far between our accommodation locations (have not mapped our travel to the start of rides, etc). Allow another 92 km for the ferry between Wellington and Picton. Foxhill was our base for the Tasman Great Taste Trail, Greymouth the base for the West Coast Wilderness Trail, Twizel for the Alps to Ocean Trail, then we went to Arrowtown to ride around Lake Dunstan on the way and the Arrowtown-Queenstown loop.

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