Sunday, 30 November 2008

Day 5 and 6 , Lake Tekapo to Omarama

The end of the canal dropping down to lake Pukaki The sun set over omarama
town center of twizel
The journey from lake Tekapo to Omarama was difficult due to strong north westerly sapping our speed at every opertunity. We cut short at the town of Twizel(60k from Tekapo) which was a nice place to stop. We found a local camp site and set up camp. I rode into town and the local radio station is played into the town square via speakers....which at the time was playing dualing banjos .....freaky
The next day we rode on to omarama after a lazy morning to omarama via the lake

Jayne riding onto the manmade Rowing lake just outside Twizel

first leg over

Thats us in Invercargill

800kms from christchurch according to the odometer

internet has been sparse and even here it is crap and wont do photos. Will try to find somewhere over the next couple days that does let me do photos and update the missing days.

been some interesting things and people along the way but they need photos to tell the whole story.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Days 3 and 4 - lake tekapo to Omarama

This part of the journey was supposed to take us a single day but the weather and the head wind were so terrible we cut short at Twizel for the night (60k). Glad we did , very nice town. We also bumped into an american couple touring down from Auckland over the last 3 weeks

Today we cycled the 40k on from Twizel to Omarama where the lady at the campsite gave us fresh (real) towels and 10% off cause we were on bikes !

The good news is the next 5 days are showing great weather with little or no wind ! heres hoping as tomorrow is 120k over the lindis pass (970m) down to Cromwell.

Internet here is crap wont let me put pictures up

Monday, 24 November 2008

Day 2 and 3 Rakaia Gorge to Lake Tekapo

[climbing out the gorge]

Day 2 started with a big climb out the gorge which lead us onto a gentle downward slope to Geraldine , this sounds great but it was soul destroying long straight roads with no corners or inclines to gauge distance and we just seemed to keep going on the same road. We decided to stop early in Mt somers for lunch at about 35kms. [shop in mt somers]

After lunch we continued onto mayfield where we stopped and a woman told us of a "severe weather warning" so we got out the radio and listened to the news , sure enough there was a severe weather warning for otago and canterbury ....we were sat directly between the 2.

[how we loaded the bikes]

We arrived in Geraldine early and asked at the campsite where the old woman behind the desk assured us that the storm wouldnt hit us. She was right !

[Geraldine campsite ...yes it does look like someones garden there....]

Day 3 started with a gentle climb up to fairlie where we met a bunch of other cyclists on a college excursion. We had lunch here and spoke to them for a bit but we were going opposite directions.
[group of cyclists]

[snow capped peaks]

The road to Burkes pass village was quite gentle but after the village it climbed violently. Ontop of the pass you could be mistaken for thinking it was scotland or the canterbury plains again , very barren and ugly. It then started to tip down with rain so we decided to cycle on quickly to Lake Tekapo wasnt very pretty for pictures up there anyway. We opted for a hostel as the rain was minging and we were soaked through.

[lake Tekapo]

Over dinner in the hostel we met a guy from Belfast who has been riding since june from the uk and has ridden nearly all the way to NZ over europe and the likes! He had some interesting storys to tell ... such as the tandam couple he met carrying 200kgs luggage on the tandem ...

Day 1 , Christchurch to Rakaia Gorge

[the hills seem close ...but we never got there !]

From the city centre to the outskirts(6km) was quite pleasent , but from there on the crosswinds over the plains were hellish but we had plenty of supportive toots from drivers inc one from scotland and another with a bumper sticker from Elgol (its in skye)

To Darfield the winds were awful and trying to blow the bikes over. We stopped for lunch in Darfield at the local bakery which was tasty. After lunch the wind had died down a little and allowed us to make progress. The local landowners had also lined the roads between Darfield and Rakaia with tall hedges to break the wind !
[windy by name windy by nature]

[our campsite , look steve its your washing line]

[and looking out from our camp]
The view from the campsite was actually amaizing and all for 6 dollars a head (about 2 quid) with hot showers and washing facilities !

Friday, 21 November 2008

Port hills mostly

We travel ALL the way across the world and the first Scottish person we meet comes from Kyle of Lochalsh and knows Jaynes old flatmate. Small world eh !

[Lytelton Harbour from atop the port hills ]

[me looking down from the port hills into the bay]

[Us having ridden up the port hills with Christchurch in the background]

We still got sun tan(or burnt in Jaynes backs case) even though by locals standards it was over cast and cold !

[Jayne riding in town]

Look at the width of that dedicated cycle path ! and the cars just dont venture into it ! We have been riding round the city for the last 2 days and not once have we felt threatened by a cars presence !
[tame little bird]

Last update for a few days , the tent doesnt have internet access and we are leaving the hostel tomorrow for Raikara Gorge and to Geraldine on Sunday before we hit the hills !

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Another Day in CHC

we bought a phone .... look at the address
our bikes in hagley park

us in hagley park

having woken early today and done a little research into the surrounding area we have decided to take in the godley head and port hill trails tomorrow (friday) and set off on the road on saturday , although the weathers meant to be bad although today was "cloudy and drizzel" we have had nothing but blue skys and sun !
The bike shop had our bikes ready and we have cycled a paltry 15kms on them , mostly too and from the shops.

We visited Hagley park which is one of the largest green spaces found in inner citys apparently. Its very nice , with lots of different areas and parks within , and its cycle friendly !

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Arrived safely (Just)

Jayne infront of the indoor gardens at dubai airport. Shortly after id narrowly avoided being arrested for taking a photo near security ! . questioned and made to delete said photo which showed jayne on a chair with mirrored pillar behind ... they reckoned i was taking a photo of the security set up !

Then when entering arrivals at Sydney airport Jayne was hauled into the security booth and frisked and bag swabbed and checked for explosives ... a random and normal proceedure apparently. More worryingly the guy coming through behind us who had been on our previous flight was carrying scissors and razor blades in his hand luggage.
The sun set en route to dubai, Nothing compared to the thunder and lightening as we came into sydneys airspace but i was never quick enough off the mark with the camera !

Arrived in Christchurch early this afternoon and made our way to the YHA on Manchester street, Seems a clean friendly place. Popped down to the bike shop and paid off the remainder of our bill and we will be picking the bikes up tomorrow morning. Then we popped down to pac n` save for some food. All the food pictured above cost us $22.85 NZ which is roughly 9.50 GBP. Whats there will provide tonights tea and with the addition of daily milk , breakfast for a couple weeks ! With a bit of thought budgeting shouldnt be too hard.
Did a bit of research while in the supermarket , and as i remember from our last trip most things seem to be about half the cost of home except milk which is roughly the same.
Hoping to be on the road on friday More then !

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The last few pieces of equipment arrive

Popped into the Angus Bike Chain after work tonight to pick up some more stuff that had arrived

first , our racks which will hold all our belongings too the bike. I was going to get penny sports in christchurch to fit some from stock but as i was unaware what there stock contained i opted to order in some quality stainless steel ones from Madison. Off road pannier racks take a propper pounding and its not uncommon for alloy and cheaper racks to break welds.

So today a pair of Madison Summit SS racks arrived
[hopefully wont have to test the 5 year guarantee!][Rear of rack showing solid construction]

4 blackburn MTN bottle cages to take 1 litre bottle in each
[only bottle cage i havnt broken on the mtb]
[Mountain suds from for cleaning everything from clothes to dishes to me ]

[Screen saver , spf 25+ again from]
[udderly smooth chamois cream from wiggle]

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Kitchen , Bedroom , Tools

My kit packed into my Altura Orkney 56 paniers and dryline 8 litre bar bag(thanks to zyro for a great deal on 2 pairs of these). as you can see the panniers are no where near full but on more than one day i need to carry food for 2 for 2 days when we do some of the higher mountain passes. I still have to add a toiletries bag to that photo also but it wont fill my bags ! The tent will travel on top of my rack between the panniers under my camelback bladder which will be used for keeping us with a fresh supply of water rather than only the 2 bottles on our bike. Meaning if we have to boil water at camp we can do a whole days worth rather than having to find it and boil it all the time.

First Things first , keep the bikes rolling. Ive opted for quite a simple tool kit as you could go on for ever and in reality most things can be bodged , if they cant then its terminal and no amount of tools will save it (from a professional point of view as a cycle mechanic) We have a 10" draper adjustable , a 15mm park cone spanner(rear cones) modified to incorporate a chain whip, a 13mm park cone spanner for the front cones, A leatherman Blast , An SKS toolbox travel , Cyclo Freewheel remover, puncture repair outfit , truflo pump (not pictured thats an old blackburn there thats not coming with me) a rag and some motorex drylube. Its not comprehensive but with the addition of some spokes , a small tub of assorted bolts etc and a couple of tubes it should keep us going. Till we reach a bike shop anyway

Next up we have the kitchen ! The photo above shows the kitchen in its transportation state. The black net is the same depth as the biggest pot in the photo below. It contains 2 pots , frying pan, pan handle , small absorbant towel, the burner/windshield/fuel pump for my MSR whisperlite , my homemade folding spatula , a ti spork , and a plastic spoon(non stick pots you see) In addition to the above we also have Orikaso folding crockary, tested previously with some sketicism but have stood the test of time (had them for about a year) and passed the angus bike chain careless tea drinkers test. To power the stove we are taking the medium sized primus fuel bottle on advice of adrian at Basecamp in arbroath since the stove was a last minute purchase due to difficulty in finding compatible fuel for my old faithful camping gaz twister.

The bedroom consists of an Alpkit Wee Arric, An ajungaluk(mammut) tundra summer sleeping bag, a vango cotton liner , and a buff over an inflated dry bag for a pillow. Each of these items will be stored inside a dry bag and then inside the panniers , although the panniers are waterproof for the weight of a dry bag its better to be safe than sorry. The arrics will be carried ontop of Jaynes rack.

meet "home"

Here is our home for most of the next 3 months ! Its a vaude taurus 1. Its not a new purchase I got given it by my parents on my 21st birthday , since then its been on numerous tours inc Raasay 07 where we were battered by rain and force 9 gales all night. The Strathpuffer 08 race where again we were met by driving gales. Its very easy and quick to pitch , rain fly first or inner + outer together depending on how you pack it.
as you can see here it isnt the "biggest" it comfortably sleeps 2 , the vestibule stores day sacks and not alot else. Our dry bags containing clothes and the cooking stuff will fit in no bother but the panniers will have to live outside.