New Zealand: Part II

I’ve finished: I’m in Christchurch, the final stop of my trip.

This last week was the final week in New Zealand and also the final week of the entire trip.

There were a few days of rain as I headed north from Franz Josef, but this eventually cleared as I got away from the West Coast (the West Coast is notorious for its bad weather and sandflies). Once the weather cleared, there was again some beautiful riding, especially as I headed down the coast towards Christchurch.

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Some wet weather on leaving Franz Josef

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Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. Rock On!

Before I arrived in New Zealand, some people I’d met had described it as like Britain from thirty years ago. Having spent a couple of weeks here, I can definitely see why they said that. I’ve been struck by how trusting the people are, even towards complete strangers.

To give you one example, there was one night when I arrived at a campsite and it turned out to be more of a car park than a campsite. That’s fine for motor homes, but it’s more of an issue if you’re trying to pitch a tent in the wind (try as you might, it’s hard to get tent pegs to go into concrete!). I spoke to the lady who ran the site and, after speaking for a few minutes, she suggested I sleep in the campsite office. She even gave me her keys so I could get in and out. It was really kind of her, especially when she could just have told me to go elsewhere.

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Staying in the campsite office overnight.

I also met lots of other cycle tourists on the West Coast.  In the town of Murchison there were five of us who all stopped at the same place for lunch:

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Some of the roads are very narrow and they have a lot of trucks on them (that, understandably, don’t want to slow down on the steep hills).
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A lot more rain on the way to Nelson…
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…but it cleared up the next day
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At the start of the Queen Charlotte Drive (a scenic route to Picton)
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One of the good things about that rain is that you do at least get to see some rainbows
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Heading south from Picton

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Seals at the roadside. The main road runs right past them, so you don’t even need to do a detour to see them. That’s my kind of sightseeing!

I arrived in Christchurch late on Thursday. I went for dinner and some celebratory drinks with Mark and Jenny.  It felt good to be finished. I definitely plan to have a rest from the bike when I get home.

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Christchurch: the final destination. The main landmark of the city is the cathedral, but it was badly damaged by the earthquake.
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A day trip to the town of Akaroa the following day (having dumped all my bags in Christchurch)

I’m now heading back to the UK. There will be one final summary of the whole trip at some point when I get a chance.

Here is the map for my route around the South Island of New Zealand:

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2 thoughts on “New Zealand: Part II

  1. Well done, Angus, you have covered an unbelievably huge distance and seen plenty of amazing sights. Thanks for taking us along with you via your photos and entertaining writing. Looking forward to catching up with you.

    Like

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