Cromwell - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 5 - CycleBlaze

March 7, 2021

Cromwell

Exploring Cromwell market and the new Dustan Trail.

12 March 7 Sunday. 27kms

Cromwell 

Exploring Cromwell market and the new Dustan Trail.

Today’s plan is a meeting with friends for lunch and then a ride up to Bannockburn and on to the start of the new trail. 

My curiosity as to why Oliver Cromwell’s name came to be associated with this town, was satisfied to some extent by this larger than life tale- supposedly true. According to local legend, the name Cromwell came about due to a petty feud between J. Connell, a surveyor, and the Southern Ireland gold miners working in the district. To pay the miners back for the hard time they had given him he "threatened them with the curse of Ireland" and proposed the town be renamed Cromwell. And it seems it was. There are now rumblings from some about the need for a replacement. 

Before our lunch meeting, we try some of what the market has to offer and end up buying some excellent goat cheese from a man who keeps and milks sheep and goats. We also buy a pack of local olives, small but powerful flavour- slightly bitter. And there is the inevitable fruit. I’m sure the seller said what we’d bought was a cross between a plum and a nectarine. A match made in heaven perhaps, but how? The fruit tasted wonderful. Another stall in action is the Wool Workers spinning up a storm and knitting too.

Retaining a sense of history.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Old cars tend not to rust in Otago.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
There were plenty of churches to go around- some are now private homes.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Old Cromwell.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Some of the buildings now have that sinking feeling.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The Masonic Lodge of old.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The market.
Heart 0 Comment 0

After lunch and a catch-up with friends at The Office, once the local post office, we head out for a ride along the Kawerau River to Bannnockburn and beyond. 

It’s a fairly straightforward trail to the Bannockburn bridge where the Kawerau heads around the corner towards Queenstown. It looks incredibly deep here.

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Bannockburn Bridge- cyclists crossing.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Kawerau River.
Heart 2 Comment 0

We continue around the top of the lake to the start of the new trail. The support sections of ‘boardwalk’ are extensive and make a major hill climb much more manageable. At the top is the Carrick vineyard and a garden full of active wine tasters, a couple of whom wave. Neil Young warbles over the scene : “Southern maaan better keep your heeead...”

Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Easing the switch back.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Carrick vineyard wine tasting.
Heart 0 Comment 0
On duty falcon.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

We continue a little further to the current stopping point. The trail is supposed to open very soon. Will a Lycra clad parliamentarian attempt to gain some publicity by trying the first 100 metres? Beside the trail are masses of rows of vines draped in netting. Perched atop in the middle sits a watchful falcon. How are they paid for the long hours they put in scaring off the feathered hoi poloi, I wonder.

Our ride back is blessed by a tail wind - and a strong one too, until we’re back on the Cromwell side.

Cromwell, the Lord Protector, may have asked to be painted ‘warts and all’, but today we’ve not found too many warts in Cromwell the town.

Today's ride: 27 km (17 miles)
Total: 424 km (263 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 6
Comment on this entry Comment 0