Picasa pictures of the trip from Nelson Lakes National Park to Hanmer Springs.
We got soaked after leaving Murchison, and the day turned out to be longer than we were hoping for. We got to a DoC camp with a little picnic shelter where we managed to get out of the rain for a little while. The next morning was beautiful, and we celebrated by heading up the road a bit and soaking at Maruia Hot springs. The outdoor stone pools were lovely, but the sandflies around them drove Ciel into the traditional Japanese bathhouses - I didn't like this as much, as we couldn't soak together (separate Men's and Women's bathhouses). We left the springs and rode up over Lewis pass to Deer valley DoC site, only 21km for the day! It did go over a big hill though - over 400m elevation gain, I think.
Yesterday we left Deer valley for what should have been an easy coast down to Hanmer Springs, but I was really tired for some reason, and the tailwind turned into a headwind, then the downhill turned uphill in places as well - not big climbs, just enough to knock me out. We stopped at a side road for a couple of hours to rest, then eventually got to Hanmer Springs. We stayed here last night and had a big feast of spaghetti with meat sauce, and today we're taking it easy. I did laundry for the first time in a while, Ciel is reading a big spy novel, we'll buy some groceries and hut tickets in town later for our next foray into the mountains, and stay another night. The Alpine Adventure Holiday Park we're staying at is the best holiday park I've seen so far in New Zealand - clean, well-maintained, and the price is quite reasonable ($25 for 2 adults in a tent - we've paid up to $44).
We want to head up to the Harper pass track for a bit, then get to Arthur's pass, but we don't know how long it will take. Starting Saturday, the weather is supposed to get ugly again, but I hope it's not as bad as the forecast...