Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Sunday 31st January

Started the Otago Rail Trail: A 150km cycle track from Clyde to Middlemarch which follows the route of the 1800's rail track, which serviced the gold mining and farming communities.

A quick word on Central Otago It is the driest part of NZ; the hottest in the summer and coldest in the winter. Historically it was a gold mining area and now mostly sheep farming. The landscape is rolling grassy hills with rocky tors and steep canyons. The communities are small and quiet - even by NZ standards!

Picked up the bikes and panniers for our kit first thing. They have alarmingly wide saddles: Paradoxically most cyclists agree skinnier is more comfee. 80km later - scenery is still spectacular but our bums HURT! The track is all rough gravel - and is hard going - averaging 10km per hour, it is a long day's riding. Interest is provided by old railway bridges, tunnels and navvy camps en route. We also see some real fluffy merino sheep (piccie to follow), loads of lizards and hares.

Collapse into our little cottage at Wedderburn about 8pm following the most massive pub meal. Landlord gave us extra large pieces - cos he thought we needed them!

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