New Zealand post 17: ALL MY FAVOURITES
Today more than makes up for any penance we had to pay yesterday! We are on a dedicated bike path for 95% of the day, the weather is pristine and the riding is sublime!
We start on the canal with the wind from behind, then onto the banks of Lake Ohau, with the famous Mt Cook showing itself off impressively in the distance ( we have been told that it’s covered in cloud 90% of the time and we’ll be lucky if we see it).
At 40km we pull over for a picnic and brew up coffee in the trusty Jetboil – such a pleasure to enjoy a break without the wind, 0r the rain or the bugs!
Then onto the mountain, with a challenging 12km climb, which takes us to 900m above the lake – it’s surreal to look back and realize that a couple of hours ago we were down there, pedalling by the water.
The cherry on the top is that Steve is riding like a champ and is setting a great pace (better not say anything or I might jinx it!)
As I think this, he stops and dismounts, “and now…?” ” I need to walk for a bit…” I burst out laughing, ” what’s so funny?” I admit my musings , ” You literally jinxed me with your thought!” he accuses, but he’s back on the bike soon enough and still riding well, so I guess my thoughts aren’t that powerful after all.
The downhill is steep and rocky. My front brake disk has been rattling loose and we lack the tool to tighten it properly, so have been doing a patch job intermittently by hand, but it doesn’t last long and it’s loose again.
Steve pulls over about 3km into the descent and indicates for me to stop, ” how’s your brake?” I reach down and grip it to check and Einaaa!! I burn my thumb and forefinger so badly there’s a black mark embedded in my skin! ” I didn’t mean for you to touch it! How long have you been mountain biking? Of course it’s going to be hot if you’re going downhill”. Makes sense now that he says so, but I’ve honestly never thought about it, since I’m not generally in the habit of checking my brake disks on a descent… Thank goodness Kati’s not here. For sure she’d tell me how stupid I am!!
I suck up the pain (I’ll know never to do that again!), then we dash off the last 30km to Omarama where we have a cabin booked for the night (not taking any more chances with all these holiday makers about).
Then we get a text from our friends, Steve & Dahlene, ” where are you?”, next thing we know, they arrive at the holiday camp and we spend a convivial evening together. We are on a Christmas mission – need to find somewhere nice for tomorrow, Xmas eve.
The only thing we can find in the direction we’re headed is a 5 star lodge and it’s wildly expensive. What the hell, it’s Christmas -click BOOK NOW, and it’s done. We have a huge mountain to get over first, but big bonus, our bags can go with Steve and Dahlene and we can travel lightweight for the day.
Looking forward to it already…