The scenery is stunning. Even though this an area I visit often with HNZ clients, it still hits me....stunning, especially as the road is so quiet, and the sun is just hitting the tops on the west side of the valley....stunning. We live in such a beautiful country.
I ride up the valley, every now and then sneaking a look over my shoulder. The climb is very gradual and within 1.5hrs I am at the summit of the Haast Pass, knowing that the rest of the day in downhill to the coast, it feels pretty good.
Loadsa stops for photos, at all those places that we often don't have time to stop at while on Safaris, and I realized again why so many foreigners have this road on their "must do" list. By 12.30 I am in Haast, eating a feed of fish and chips (wish I hadn't cause they made feel crook the rest
of the day), knowing that I've done my necessary kms for the day, and everything else I do is a bonus. Decide to try for Lake Moeraki which will total 110km, and more than compensate for yesterday. Or 3pm and a nice campsite, which ever came first. Couldn't remember whether there were one or two big hills before the lake. There are three, and 3pm and Moeraki were very welcome, as my legs got that real heavy feeling....
From Makarora to Ships Bay must be the most beautiful and rewarding ride I have done recently. So much of it downhill or flat, beautiful bush, waterfalls and views, and very little traffic. I did think about stopping at Ships Bay, but the sand flies are really bad, and it was only 2pm. What a great day, marred only by loosing a glove coming down the big hill above the Gates of Haast.
Freedom camping tonight. Don't tell Fletcher. 80kms to civilisation tomorrow. Looking forward to it, that's if I survive the keas and wekas tonight.