Almost a dry ride today! The clouds were low - sometimes down to the valley floor on the other side of the valley - but the rain held off until the last 5 miles. I'm on my way to the west coast, stopping half way today in a tiny place called Makarora.
It's already noticeably greener - the brown of the Canterbury Plains and Otago replaced by grey-greens of grass and shrubs on the hillsides. The ride was along two lakes: first Lake Hawea and then the upper end of Lake Wanaka. Cycling through the green shrubs on the cliffs alongside Wanaka, passing several gushing waterfalls, was delightful. There were more hills on the route than other days, going up and over many bluffs. The Pedellers' Paradise guide book says northwesterly head winds are often a problem on this stretch but luckily the wind was behind me, so it was an easy day.
|It was dry on my side of the lake!||Cycling Alongside Lake Hawea|
The rain started up again for the last few miles. I stopped at a cafe/filling station in Makarora West - there isn't really a village here, just a few farms straggling along the roadside. I had pie and chips for lunch, since I wasn't expecting to find a place for dinner near the B&B. (There was actually a motor camp with a restaurant near the B&B, but it wasn't very attractive, so I didn't eat there.) I met a couple of cyclists from Europe at the cafe. They were camping and weren't looking forward to setting up the tent in the drizzle. Having a nice warm and dry B&B or hostel to look forward to in the evening is a definite plus on rainy days!
|Rainy Evening at Makarora Homestead|
The Makarora Homestead B&B is beautifully peaceful. It's on a ramshackle farm a few km from Makarora, which itself barely exists. I don't know if it is actually farmed as a business, but they do have a few orphaned animals: a deer, a pony, and a couple of sheep. I'm sitting on the porch watching the mist and gentle rain on tree covered mountains over the valley, with the sounds of birds and the waterfall in the hills above the farm.