Stats – Auckland to Invercargill

We’ve now ridden all the way to the bottom of the South Island and are having a rest day to explore Invercargill.

  • Distance ridden – 2,692km
  • Days ridding – 27, with several half days to stagger the cycling to small towns and across the mountain passes 
  • Average daily distance – 99km, lower than usual because of the wind, rain and hills
  • Longest day  – 124km Queenstown to Mossburn
  • Punctures – 0
  • Mechanicals – New freewheel hub and consequential rear wheel re-build in Queenstown
  • Other cyclists – 91, which says a lot about the delights of cycling here
  • Pies – 31

A pause

I’m knackered.

We’ve arrived in Tuatapere where we’re staying at the lovely Last Light Lodge, with delightful furniture and fittings from the 1970’s, and have decided to book ourselves into a room instead of the campsite. It’s now 22 days since Wellington and every night has been in the tent, except one, and I’ve now succumbed to both a chest cold and a recurring tummy bug that I picked up from the campsite in Queenstown. I just can’t seem to shake them off but hopefully I will do so as we take a rest day in Invercargill the day after tomorrow. We’ll stay in an Airbnb apartment and enjoy the delights of art gallery, library, book and art shops before turning northward to Christchurch.

Campsites are pretty filthy places where it’s easy to catch something from the kitchen’s shared utensils, showers or WCs. Yasmin is still fighting fit but I’m feeling a bit – finished. However, as I sit here and write this, I feel so much better.

The bottom of the South Island feels so very far away. There’s been good riding to get here and we treated ourselves to a visit to Doubtful Sound where we saw seals, a pod of dolphins and penguins. It’s a small corner of the Earth that is well preserved and isolated from human impact and is one of the highlights of our trip. There are many – the east cape of the North, the west coast of the South, nighttime scented airs of minted apple, moonlight, the southern stars and the road.