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Thread: Haast

  1. #1
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    Haast

    9th February 2017

    I don't sleep so well - there's an oriental family in the next family room and they seem to only speak at very high decibel levels, no matter what time.

    No matter, I get abluted and kitted up and have loaded the bike, said farewell to Rachel and thanked her again for her efforts on getting the internet sorted and am pressing the starter at exactly 0900 (which should please anyone with OCD reading).

    I set out heading south west down the coast on a beautiful cool and clear day...



    A railway line parallels the road - it will be my companion for much of the morning...



    I don't see any traffic on it - and the tracks are rusty, which suggests that it is seldom used...



    Here's something new - the road and railway...



    ...share the same (single track - in all respects) bridge...



    The Adv is barely warmed up when this café hoves into view - time for some caffeine...



    ...along with slightly more traditional Eggs Benedict (this at least has spinach)...



    I'm on the road again in 20 minutes or so, passing this old Morris 1000 selling itself at the roadside...



    The Tasman Sea comes back into view. Although the thermometer says that it's 70° F, it feels cooler than yesterday...



    On a whim, I turn down the Blue Spur Tourist Drive, which turns out to be a pretty - if unremarkable - diversion through some farmland on the valley floor...



    I'm soon back on the A6, heading south west...



    In the ex-gold mining town of Ross, I spot this gorgeous old girl - who seems (judging by the interior) to be permanently parked outside the hotel as an advert...



    Any guesses as to make/model/year?



    Before I can put my camera away, this old girl appears - what a beauty...



    I see more cars of a similar vintage - mostly Bentleys, I think, heading the other way throughout the day...



    The road crosses lots of streams and rivers - the water often the strange duck-egg blue colour associated with melt-water run off. The rivers are wide and with large gravel sandbars...



    I make good progress through beautiful countryside...



    It's always with stopping to smell the roses, though...



    Onward!



    Another old gentleman coming from the rally that must have been held somewhere south of here...



    I actually see a few motorcyclists today - they've been conspicuous by their absence thus far...



    The sun's getting higher, but it's not a lot warmer...



    This is going to become a common sight...



    Taking hell-trips to the top of glaciers is big business around here...



    I come into the town of Franz Josef and decide to stop for a coffee...



    ...and a sandwich at the excellent 'Full of Beans' cafe

    The entire time I'm eating and drinking there's the constant clatter and whocka of departing and arriving helicopters from their operating bases over the road - it's like being on the set of Apocalypse Now...



    A little further up the road is a loop where you can get a view of the glacier.

    Incidentally, on the subject of Apocalypse Now, did you know Francis Ford Coppola did several weeks of shooting with Harvey Keitel playing Capt Willard, before deciding to replace him with Martin Sheen?



    Interesting signs - I think the 'no drones' one will become more and more common (this was on the approach road to the glacier viewpoint)...



    Meantime, the road builders have left the occasional bit of windy road in for the motorcyclists...



    I ride over a couple of very rough and ready looking suspension bridges...



    Single track, as usual - this seems to be the South Island's preferred solution for water crossing...



    Although it's still before 1500, it's starting to get a distinct chill in the air, and I'm glad my hotel is only a few kilometres down the road...



    I say farewell to the sea...



    ...as I turn inland slightly...



    ...cross a final - very long - bridge...



    ...and arrive at my hotel in Haast...



    Where I'm quickly checked in and given the access code to some good WiFi...



    Dump my gear into my large and pleasant room...



    ...and then repair to the bar for a beer or two...

    Great day...

    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  2. #2
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    Great pictures

  3. #3
    Beaky Farkler Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Great stuff "ol' partnuh". Better than the trans Norfolk highway eh?

  4. #4
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    pint

    great stuff Mike

  5. #5
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    Brilliant stuff Mike
    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Excellent as usual Mike....really looking forward to the rest of the trip!

  7. #7
    R/C Hello pilot ;-)
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    I toured the North and South Islands in early 2001 on a rented motorcycle. The Haast Pass is one of the highlights, Lake Hawea being mirror smooth.

    After I returned from New Zealand, I spent the next six months longing to go back, it was and still is my best tour on a motorcycle ever.

    Enjoying this Ride Report.

  8. #8
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    Excellent Mike.
    That first one (Bentley) looked like a blower!

  9. #9
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    Haast

    We almost mirrored your route in a camper van, 2003.
    Best holiday i've ever had. I remember thinking over & over "this would be great on the bike ". One day !
    Lucky you got through Haast without a sand fly bite.

  10. #10
    Apprentice to the Chief Idiot Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    I suspect that you saw the UK Lagonda Club on a tour out here in NZ at present.
    Did you notice that the staff at the Heartland Hotel in Haast are all from the Pacific Islands?
    I have no idea why they ended up in Haast, its not a tropical paradise by any means.

    Adrian

  11. #11
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    Enjoying reading your "report", thanks a lot!!
    Climate is what you hope for, weather is what you get!

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