I had a 9am flight from Auckland to Christchurch but allowed plenty of time to get to the airport. Just as well, the taxi* was a bit late (he'd come from Mangere?) but strangely light traffic meant got there with time to spare.
Once airborne and heading South we had superb views of Tasman/Golden Bay where I'd ridden earlier in the summer.
The long sandbank that is Farewell Spit (below left), where I spent an amazing day, and Golden Bay (below right) with Tākaka just below the flap fairing.
Abel Tasman and Golden Bay.
Can see all the amazing Tōtaranui Beach (foreground) & Wainui Bay (Mid) & Tata Beach (Top) day ride below.
Flew down the Southern Alps in amazing clear weather.
It's cloudy, must be Christchurch
After stunning clear weather, it was both surprising and not (given my visits this summer to date) to find Christchurch both cold and cloaked in overcast cloud. I'd brought my Icebreaker jacket for this leg, didn't expect to unpack it so soon!
I had lots to do before heading West. After collecting the (repaired) Bravo from Lincoln, thanks Lynn (airport shuttles & parking) and Canterbury Fiat Club (airbag fix), it was North to 'The Bike Shop", Burwood. Graeme and Michelle had done an awesome job fixing and finding parts. My mountain bike had a new 'unstuck' through axle, my gravel bike a replacement brake/gear lever, a new chain and gear tune.
I'd lost my Teva Sandals in the stolen bag and last minute found some at Torpedo7 Northlink, Christchurch. Ordered 'click & collect' last night, hadn't heard they were ready but headed their anyway. Just as I pulled into the carpark got the 'ready to collect' text, perfect timing and it meant next stop Hokitika.
As I approached the alps it seemed the sky was getting lighter, wishful thinking?
Going up Lewis Pass the clouds started to clear.
It was soon an amazing day!
Love this road, this weather!
Arthurs Pass & Otira Viaduct
Have both driven and cycled Arthurs Pass & Otira Viaduct before. It's an amazing road with stunning scenery.
Compulsory stop at the Otira Viaduct observation point. The viaduct was built to avoid rockfalls and flooding which regularly took out the ground level road.
Hosts Frances and Brian have created a lovely B&B in the historic Doctor's Residence and Surgery. It's a lovely place, just across the road from the Cycle Journeys depot and right next door to Kitchen Hokitika.
Kitchen Hokitika dinner, yum!
Went for an 'after dinner' walk along Hokitika River to watch the sunset over the Tasman Sea.
The iconic driftwood sign.
Wasn't the only one out watching...
Last glimpse of the sun, back on the bike tomorrow.
* No it wasn't an Uber, can't stand that company and never use them.