Sunday, 3 December 2017

An overnight ride to Haast, South Westland. 465km

This week we responded to the call of Haast on the west coast of the South Island and set off on a planned ride with John and Cath.  

Dick's usual good planning brought us a wonderful ride in glorious weather.
A wonderful ride with friends, Cath and john.
Its the first time we have ridden with company for a long time.
Am thinking of rides with Radioman and Ken and Shirley.

While the rest of NZ seemed to be facing thunderstorms we enjoyed warm and dry conditions.
The recent lack of rain in southern Westland meant that the breeding patterns of sandflies and mosquitos  had been interrupted.  We encountered none.

Whitebait patties, salmon and venison for dinner at Haast.  Plenty of conversation.
Photos of the Haast road builders at work helped us appreciate the road we had just ridden along.  Bridges built, rocky bluffs blasted, and lives lost.

Next day we rode to Jackson Bay.
Whitebait stands have been raised at season's end.
Crayfish pots are stacked ready for next year.

A day of blue.
Turquoise rivers looked docile. They can unleash torrents in flood.
Tasman sea  gently lapping the beach fronts.
The sky an azure blue. More blue than the roof of the Cray Pot Cafe.

We shared the road on the ride home with lots of touring motorcyclists.
A great day for a ride.

 Lake Hayes,  Amisfield vineyard.
Along the shores of Lake Hawea
... and Lake Wanaka

Up the Makarora Valley the gates of Haast
The Haast river relaxes at the foot of the valley
The sun sets at the end of a lovely day.  

A very good breakfast at the Prickly Gorse Cafe at Haast.
 Whitebaitseason is over... the stands have been raised.

 Jackson bay around the corner.
Photo: Cath Gilmour
While Dick and John are doing what all motorcycle riders do best Cath and I go exploring.

We muse on who might have lived here.
A 20 minute walk takes us all to Wharekai-Te Kou, the ocean beach
 Homeward Bound.

 The Clutha River near Hawea.

As we leave Wanaka we follow a group of 12 BMW riders up the Cardrona Valley.  
The brief light drizzle cools us down as we head over the Crown Range for home.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

On the road for the first ride of the season

It is late spring
Saturday afternoon
Blue skies, blue lakes and lush green landscapes beckon.

Over the Crown Range, to Wanaka, Tarras, Cromwell and Bannockburn.
Last weekend's snows have melted.
Everything is pristine.

So much promise.
New beginnings.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

 We love this view.
 On the Crown Terraces
 Even the tussocks in the Cardrona Valley are green

 Willows and poplars on the banks of the Clutha River near Wanaka.

 From Bannockburn...
Heading home at 8.30pm in warm sunshine.
A perfect day for a ride.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Homeward bound: Picton to Queenstown, New Zealand. 875km, 11.5°C-22°C

We saved the best for last.
The longest distance we have ever ridden two up in one day.
From Marlborough's Wairau Valley vineyards...

To lake Rotoiti
And the forest-clad hills 
That accompany us south and to the west coast.

Coffee stop at the Beeches in Murchison
Awesome pies for lunch in Hokitika
Whitebait fritters at the Paringa Salmon Farm.

So good to be on familiar roads,
So close to home
We decide to make a run for Queenstown while the sun is still shining.

Through the Gates of Haast
Over the Haast Pass
To the warmth of Central Otago at Makarora

Along the shorelines of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea
Through the early evening golden light 
Etching patterns on slopes of the Crown Range.

Home to Te Komata 
Our house on the hill
Which welcomes us with open arms.

We are truly blessed to live in this part  of the world.

Vineyards spread across the Wairau Valley. Home of Marlborough wines.

Lake Rotoiti - high water this summer.

Beyond lake Rotoiti
Dual single lane rail and road bridge.
Carving pounamu at Hokitika

Thank you for the awesome pies, Marilyn and Jo.

Forest at Paringa, southern Westland.

Haast River

Gates of Haast

The Cardrona Valley.
The Crown Range road.

Home at last.
In 13 ¾ hours and  riding 875km today we broke our own record for a daily ride.
 Orlanda and Mella reunited. 
Each has many stories of faraway places to share.