Day 99

Move along...nothing to see here ( all mist this morning)

Move along…nothing to see here ( all mist this morning)

And one more time all together....Where's David (Jerico hill)

And one more time all together….Where’s David (Jerico hill)

Impressive craggy features.... and the rock behind looks good too!

Impressive craggy features…. and the rock behind looks good too!

NZ pastoral scene

NZ pastoral scene

whoa! Look ay my big tool!

whoa! Look ay my big tool!

I am a bushman and I'm ok. Bushman centre Tuatapere

I am a bushman and I’m ok. Bushman centre Tuatapere

Looks like they get prevailing winds here!

Looks like they get prevailing winds here!

Liked this one in Tavern

Liked this one in Tavern

3pm Tuatapere cafe/camp

I’ve been burning the tarmac today, my legs can’t seem to get enough and have an argument with my bum about when it is time to stop. My mind has just won the argument when the first cafe in Tuatapere came into view and I’m relishing a flat white here in this quaint cafe come bar come camp. David has just turned up having dropped his I phone en route so it is taking a bit of stick.

We both managed to ride all the way up the steepest hill of the day, Jericho Hill, and felt pretty chuffed with ourselves as a result.

8.15pm Orepuki pub/tavern

We’ve found a free camp right next to the tavern here in Orepuki. Only had a few beers in the tavern (Speights and a jug of DB). I had a Seafood basket and David “Cordon bleu” Kiev’s, all served and cooked by Alistair who owns the place so offering free camping must be good for business and Alistair is looking to develop the “sheep field” into more of a site over next year or so. We were going to freedom camp at nearby Monkey island but the appeal of a few beers and a prepared meal won the day despite the attraction of meeting monkeys (mind you there’s a few missing links here in the pub!)

We managed to break the “ton” of 100km today so it was a good effort and inevitably a long day in the saddle. David and I have got a good system going whereby I now plough on ahead at the pace I want to go at, leave my bike in an obvious place when I stop and he finds me. I can’t believe we’ve been travelling over a week together now, we are getting on really well and delving into some deep stuff around what he may want to do with himself once his money runs out in a couple of weeks and how he can live a full and rewarding life (I’m no expert on this but its good to air our joint thoughts and he can then take on board what he likes the sound of)

We left Manapouri in mist this morning so were really pleased to have had the views last night. The mist cleared after 10am and we were able to see the “Southland scenic route” in all its glory. As the day progressed I got the sense of the mountains receding and more rolling hills and green farmland appearing. We had the one big hill, Jerico Hill, which just to repeat in case you missed my earlier missif we both succeeded in riding without a stop.

Orepuki is on the south coast (next stop Antarctica) and it is beginning to dawn on me that my “length of New Zealand” challenge is finally drawing to its end. I’m in a bit of a dilemma on what the end now is! I could make Bluff tomorrow on the 10th April and complete the “length” of NZ in a nice round 100 days. Or I could just head for Invercargill tomorrow and then go to Bluff and back on my birthday. Then there is the small matter of not having done a full 3000km, I reckon I’m around 100km short so should I make Slope Point my final destination which then takes me at least another day and past my birthday!? Dilemma dilemma!

Oops I forgot to do the mileage update in the last couple of blogs. How remiss of me.

Bf from Queenstown. 434
Queenstown to Mavora lakes 50
Mavora Lakes to Manapouri 87
Manapouri to Orepuki. 100
Remaining. 197km

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