Land of the Long White Cloud

Current Location: Dunedin, Aotearoa

Ever since I left Mt. Cook it has been cloudy every day. I wake up usually around 7am to try and get an early start on the day but it’s harder to get up when everything around you is a misty white. In case you’re wondering the translation for Aotearoa is today’s title, if the maori landed on the southern part of the islands I can see why they would have named it as such. The clouds do finally disappear at around 6p in time for the stars to make an appearance.

The trip to Mt. Cook was great although I may or may not have broken my bottom bracket, I won’t be able to take it into the shop as my credit cards are still blocked at the moment. For the moment I can still turn the pedals and it doesn’t feel harder to push them but from time to time I hear a metal on metal sound which doesn’t sit well with me. Other than that it was a perfectly peaceful trip through the mountains. I took roads that had signs that say road closed but I pay them no mind and just walk my bike around the barriers. Camping in that area was a snap, just about anywhere was an option to camp and I’m getting used to camping on my own now, I just have to have a book or my iPod charged.

I also realize I forgot to post anything about Akaroa, I guess I did this due to it being such a traumatic day for me. But honestly the architecture was about the only thing that struck me. Reminded me a lot of Mackinac Island and I struggled to find anything French about it besides the street names and the names of some of the buildings. I’m not sure what I was looking for but something more than just a French facade. It was certainly a nice place to visit.

I also managed to spend an extra day in Temuka waiting for the police station to open (I got back there from Mt. Cook on a Sunday) which was good so I could rest up. I think the current plan is to get out of Dunedin in a day or two and hit up slope point among a few other things down that way. Then off to Invercargill. After that I’m not sure exactly how it’ll play out but I may end up trying to go to Queenstown and then to the Central Otago Rail Trail and then take a train back to Dunedin where I can meet mom and dad in Christchurch (I promised the folks at Thornton Grange i’d visit them again). The other option being blasting my way through the west coast, I figure it would take me 6 days to make it back to Picton once I’ve left Invercargill. At this point I don’t want to predict one way or the other which way i’ll go, time will tell.

Todays ride was a lot of fun. I started at Full Day Bay where I had the whole beach to myself last night. The ride was punctuated with two large hills which made for a fun ride into Dunedin. The last hill was 8km up and 7km down, for whatever reason I hummed the Indiana Jones theme the whole way down the hill. I think some of my confidence is returning after the fall as more days go by the more I open up the brakes on downhill segments.

I added pictures a few days ago.

Monument to Richard Pearce Monument to Richard Pearce