To Waihola - New Zealand 1991 - CycleBlaze

December 15, 1991

To Waihola

We awakened rather early to a loud, serious-sounding rainstorm pounding against the roof.  All morning long the rains came and went - coming down in buckets, and then tantalizing us with short dry spells.  We decided to bundle up in our raingear and headed north, planning to ride along the coast to Palmeston and Oamaru.  Unfortunately, after about 5 km and a steep climb out of town, our route merged into the motorway again (bikes forbidden).  It was unclear from the map whether there were any other routes north, but rather than risking it we headed back to town, soaked and a bit discouraged, to regroup and form a new plan.

Over an interesting breakfast at the Southern Cross Hotel (menu selections and restaurant customs are quite different here - for breakfast I had sausages, lightly cooked/steamed bacon, and stewed tomatoes.  Coffee options are black and white) we considered renting a car and driving to Queenstown, until we researched the costs.  We finally decided to wait out the weather in Dunedin for another day after finding out that it was supposed to improve on Monday.  By about 1 though, it had eased up enough that we decided to head out of town and stay at a motorcamp 30 km to the south in Lake Waihola, and then strike out west toward Wanaka along the Clutha River on Monday.

The ride wasn't bad, other than the headwinds - we only had a few wet spells - bad enough that we couldn't see through our glasses, not so bad that we got wet inside.  It was pretty enough, retracing our way along Highway 1 to the airport and then on beond it to the south.  The country is very green, with the hillsides salted by thousands of sheep.

We were quite pleased by the campers cabins we stayed at for the night - for $26NZ (about $15 US) we got a room with a double bed, heat, and access to the showers and kitchen facilities.  It is a very sensible institution in my opinion.  

We walked into the village after unpacking and had dinner at a tea room.  More strange customs - coffee is not served until after or with the main course, and catsup (tomato sauce) is available for the chips only as an added charge.

Setting out from Dunedin, day one: rain!
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Today's ride: 37 miles (60 km)
Total: 56 miles (90 km)

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