Thursday, November 24, 2011

Daily Reprieve

We cut our losses yesterday with a very stiff headwind and quit half-way or so before St Arnaud, somewhere near the Golden Downs forest. Lots of plantation trees, lodgepole pine and douglas fir - I think I read somewhere it's the largest tract of private forest on the south island. It's weird to see the trees in rows growing on the hillsides, very prim and proper. Anyway, it was a quiet place to camp, nobody came by on the public access road and the birds waking us up this morning were fun to listen to. When Mark is done with cycling, I know that I am done as well.

Yesterday we met nice Kiwi Eleanor who took off work to cycle and visit friends which I thought was quite intrepid, since she only had a short time off work. Smart woman to save the money on the ferry and save the gas money, but she was earning her legs like us battling the headwind, and getting vacation pay. Smart cookie... She was headed down to the West Coast where all the Greenstone comes from. She basically was giving us affirmations about cycling, why we do it and the like and it felt good to talk to someone local. She sometimes cycles to work but said it is a real nuisance cause there isn't really good cycle trails and she was as impressed as we were with the railtrails Nelson has invested in to help cyclists get through the city without having to ride with all the suburban/urban nonsense. In general Kiwi's have a very good sense that they are represented by a lot of drivers who think bicycles simply do not belong on the road. Today we only met one logging truck driver that gave us that impression, thank goodness. Most everyone gives us lots of space except for an occasional motorhome driver who doesn't know how big the rig is.

Mark and I visited this old coachstop called the Top House Historic Hotel which was quite sentimental as the current building had been built in 1887. We were greeted by the owner who didn't seem to quite know what to do with us as I'm sure he didn't think we were planning on staying there. However, as part of our continuing New Zealand stimulus package we ordered me coffee and scone and Mark an apple pie with ice cream. It was great to hang out with the cosy fire and warm up a bit in the ambiance. We learned quite a bit about AirAsia which has very inexpensive flights to all sorts of places we'd like to travel to. I'd like to come back and see how his roses that he planted does. I think it snows quite a bit at the Top House and gets quite cold.

Since arriving on the South Island, the gardens in fronts of houses and along the sides of roadways have been full of blooming roses and it's been quite beautiful. I saw that his lilac tree had already finished up.

Okay, night has fallen and I hope there is a Kiwi song or two. We arrived at Nelson Lakes National Park and will be heading out for a two day walk up to a lake that is frozen. The headwinds are supposed to continue so we figured we'll see some sights here before we move on.
And yes, it is different than being at Slocan Lake.

No comments:

Post a Comment