Lake Wanaka

Up at 07:20 and away at 09:50 – we can’t work out why it takes so long to wash, breakfast, prepare sandwiches and pack, we must try to improve on this. Or should we, we’re not at work. Over breakfast we met Ivo who was also heading north toward Haast. It’s the conversations that eat up the time but they’re a big part of the holiday. We met cyclists from the US, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland and Scotland. New Zealand was full of English tourists but none of them were cyclists.

It was a lovely ride, past lakes Hawea and Wanaka with thin white cloud preventing it from getting too hot and mountain views to the right and ahead. The road was undulating with some steep sections. From early afternoon the wind began to freshen from the north, clearing the sky but hindering our progress and my heart leaped when the sign Welcome to Makarora came into view. As I approached I spotted Valley in smaller letters, with the information that the motor camp was another 9km. But a café lay only 5km away so we called in for a welcome milk shake before limping into base. The cabins were all taken so we slept in a backpackers lodge where a very chatty American cyclist was also staying.

Day 11: The Haast Pass