Day 97

Preparing to board the TSS Earnslaw

Preparing to board the TSS Earnslaw

info on the Earnslaw

info on the Earnslaw

Leonardo Di Caprico (left) and "Leo the Clown" (right)

Leonardo Di Caprico (left) and “Leo the Clown” (right)

Noooo...Not a stars and stripes singlet!

Noooo…Not a stars and stripes singlet!

Walter Peak Station

Walter Peak Station

Southland girls grow moustaches?!

Southland girls grow moustaches?!

Stand back everyone I'm gonna sneeze!

Stand back everyone I’m gonna sneeze!

This is the puppy I want!

This is the puppy I want!

On road to Mavora Lakes

On road to Mavora Lakes

All together now.......Where's David? Top of saddle to Mavora Lakes

All together now…….Where’s David? Top of saddle to Mavora Lakes

Beautiful (and cold) High country

Beautiful (and cold) High country

Mavora Lakes Camp...bloody freezing!

Mavora Lakes Camp…bloody freezing!

11am Queenstown

I’m feeling honoured to be chosen by David as the person to spend his time with as opposed to his French friend who called him to hang out around Queenstown. I think he is finding some purpose in joining me on the mission to reach Bluff. We’re booked in to cross Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw at midday so I’m just catching possibly the last flat white for next 36 hours in a cafe and David is trying to source a new back tyre as his is wearing out.

It is turning colder and I have put trousers on for daytime use for first time since I arrived in December!

8pm Mavora Lakes,

There was something in the air that night the stars were bright Fernando,they were shining there for you and me for victory Fernando.

Sorry, i am getting a bit carried away here. We’ve been watching the stars and enjoying a camp fire here at the lake. We’ve seen some shooting stars and satellites on what has now become a clear night. The fire is great and has warmed us through and lifted our spirits (undoubtedly helped with a shared bottle of very chilled sauvingnon blanc. )

Boy it was cold getting here, I don’t think we realised how much because our legs were pumping hard, but by the time we rolled into camp our hands were numb and also our feet wet from a couple of river fords. We quickly put up our tents and I changed by putting on the warmest and driest clothing. Have eaten my dinner cold as too windy to have stove out ( it was a pie anyway!).

A more contrasting place than where we are now to Queenstown is hard to imagine, there’s not a soul in sight, its completely basic with just a fire grate and long drop, there are no lights other than the stars and crescent moon, no cars, no noise but the geese settling for the night. Its amazingly peaceful now even the wind is still.

We’ve cycled 50 km today from Walter Peak farmstead on a gravel road and risen about 450m elevation. We had a bit of a headwind which put us to the test. Quite a hard day to say we didn’t start until 1pm.

We sailed on the TSS Earnslaw midday “cruise” which was nice. Its fantastic how the old ship has been able to adapt to changing times and is probably in more demand now than ever. It is beautifully built and maintained and easy to imagine you are in a bygone era as you head towards the old Walter Peak farmstead.

I sneaked into the guided tour whilst David sorted his bike out. He’d
bought a new back tyre this morning to replace his worn one. Tour was fun and fed the deer. Highland cattle, sheep and alpaccas but it was the collie puppies which melted the heart,..,,I want a puppy!

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