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Thread: I'm off in the morning...

  1. #17
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    I spent 3 months in a camper with my wife touring around the South Island. It was just great soaking up the scenery, going for walks on the many tracks there. Would look for a place to spend the night, mostly under a bridge. Nice and quiet also with the opportunity to go for a zwim to wash away the days dust, fatigue and sweat. Start the bbq and talk about the day just passed. It was a fantastic time!


    Verzonden vanaf mijn iPhone met Tapatalk

  2. #18
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    Day One Photos.

    Hopefully...
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  3. #19
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    And more...
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  4. #20
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    More photos

    A few more...
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  5. #21
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    Not doing this again
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  6. #22
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    Oh FFS!
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  7. #23
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    Cheers Nick.

    I've no idea why the photos are rotating - the originals aren't. I also can't see any tool for rotating them once they are uploaded.
    If you can tell me how to do that, I'd appreciate it.

  8. #24
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    Day Three

    The weather was continuing its schizophrenic pattern as I woke up at about 5 when the sun started to come through the curtains. Seeing as Tuatapere is a farming town I figured that there'd be a cafe open to supply the farm workers with a morning coffee. How wrong I could be. The one cafe in town didn't open until 10.30 so I wandered around aimlessly before going into the 'museum'. As soon as the bell above the door pinged I realised I'd made a mistake. The 'museum' was a motley collection of 1970's tat that looked like it had been thrown out by a recently deceased estate. There were about 12 shelves full of teapots - at least four of the shelves held identical, industrial, stainless steel teapots. I wandered around for as little time as I could politely managed, taking in the surroundings whlist being gently serenaded by Matt Munro wafting from the Dancette record player. I got a coffee and fled.

    I wandered up and down the main street and took a few photos of the buildings. One thing that I do love about these small NZ towns is that there are some superb examples of Victorian or Edwardian architecture. The old Bank building and the RSA are usually solid and imposing, as if to say 'this might be a frontier town, but we're here to stay'. I bought a danish pastry from the 4 Square supermarket and wandered back to the accommodation.

    I set off and did my habitual fill up at the first petrol station. Then it was onto State Highway 6 towards Manapouri and Te Anau. Over the course of the day I must have seen fewer than a dozen vehicles on the road as I headed towards the mountains. The sun was once again shining and with the podcasts on I was having a great ride.
    The first stop was at the Clifden suspension bridge. This is a small but impressively built suspension bridge obviously built when the Department of Works wanted to make a statement about their intentions, rather than just building to the lowest possible budget. There isn't a lot between Clifden and Manapouri and being honest, there wasn't a lot at Manapouri either. It was one of the first hydroelectric schemes in NZ and I thought that there would be a little museum to commemorate it, but no. There was a plaque and a turbine and that was it. What made Manapouri special is that it was built to be flooded so if the river got too high they could still operate.

    About an hour later I popped up over a hill and saw Lake Manapouri so I stopped for a coffee at a cafe that had an amazing view and equally breathtaking prices. Fully caffeinated I headed off the last 30 or so kilometres into Te Anau itself.

    Te Anau is a small village that has grown as the popularity of the Kepler Track has grown. The Kepler is one of NZ's Great Walks and superb - http://www.doc.govt.nz/keplertrack

  9. #25
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    Keep 'em coming...travelled NZ many moons ago and it's a place of wonders. Lovely to hear about it again from another pair of eyes. Jealous though, when I was there it was on four wheels, not two. Ah well, onto the bucket list it goes.

  10. #26
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    Great write up, looking forward to more photos, either way up, lol.

    Happy Christmas.
    Edited because I cannot type

  11. #27
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    Te Anau continued

    Te Anau is the NZ equivalent of a small Lake District town that is absolutely bursting to the seams with tourists, walkers and holiday makers in the summer, but in the depths of winter a deserted shell of a town. I have only ever been there in the middle of summer when the temperature is above 25 degrees and the sunlight twinkling on the lake, so it seems like quite a nice place to spend a relaxing hour while I rehydrate after the ride. I had a wander around some of the camping shops, marveling at the never ending array of gizmos that people seem to need these days and think back to when I started doing proper walks as a teenager with a Vango Force Ten and a battered old Tranga stove.

    I looked at the messages on my phone and realised that my friend, who's hospitality I was going to abuse, had told me the name of the road on which he lives, but not the actual house number. Channeling my inner Charlie and Ewan I set off anyway thinking to myself 'How hard can it be to find a house?'. Turns out that it was very difficult as the road goes all the way back to Manapouri, which is about 20 km. I ride up the gravel road for a few kilometres before I pull into the observation point and give him a call.

    The observation point was fantastic for two reasons: it is positioned high above the town and so had unobstructed views of the Southern Alps, but also because it had a rotating sun dial type arrangement that was labelled with the names of the mountains. If you lined up the arm with the name and then crouched down, it was possible to see through the arm's observation window and see the object that corresponded with the name on the dial.

    It turned out that I had ridden further than I needed to, so I set off back down the road and pulled into my friend's driveway and rode carefully up to his house thinking 'for God's sake, don't fall off now'. His house is a new build - only about 18 months old so the small riverstones on driveway haven't really bedded in, making the dismount a touch on the interesting side. The house and garden are in a fantastic position and look out over the Southern Alps. Over dinner we sat in his living room and would find ourselves drifting off into silence as we watched different gullies and peaks catch the last of the setting sun.

    My friend is a maths teacher renowned for his boundless energy so rather than taking my arrival as an opportunity to slack off for the rest of the day and have a beer in the sunshine, I was pressed into service doing some landscaping. I hadn't expected this, so was slogging away in the heat wearing jeans and a t shirt along with a particularly exuberant red cowboy hat to protect my neck from the sun. In the last 18 months Alan and his partner have done a massive amount of work on the garden, but there are still some huge rocks amongst the 5 acres, sitting just on the surface waiting to catch the blades of his ride on mower. I think that these boulders are the remains of the glacial debris of the last ice age, but we ended up digging out and moving rocks the size of a car engine before dinner.

  12. #28
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    More photos - I hope they end up in the correct orientation.
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  13. #29
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    For some reason these photos are the correct way around when I look at them on my chromebook, but when I try and upload them, they switch.
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  14. #30
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    cracking stuff
    Perfekt ist nicht gut genug.

    UKGSER-A place where I've wasted so much time, learned so much, laughed a lot and cried a few times.

    Every bed of roses has pricks in it!

  15. #31
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    I'm off again in the morning.

    I was meant to be heading off for a 4 day tramp with a mate. He's just got a new job, so I'm going to use the first lot of accommodation and head off to https://www.lakewanaka.co.nz/ for the weekend.

    It's only a weekend, but its better than nothing. I'm quite getting into the 'book a backpackers and head off for a long weekend' type of thing.

    Edited to add: even the wife said she was getting sick of her parents...

  16. #32
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    No pics of the in laws then?

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