Last night found out yesterday's downpour killed my rear Cyclic camera. The lens surround was cracked after, about a year ago, it tumbled down a gravel road at over 50km/h securely attached to an old saddle bag which fell off when its snap-lock quick release broke after being rattled by corrugations. Can't really complain as the bag was over a decade old, the lock tab plastic had gone brittle. At one point, when trying to revive the camera, I took out the micro-SD card and put it somewhere safe...
Packing for Hanmer Springs
Did a bit of a bag re-org and repacked the car for the drive to Hanmer Springs. It was a lovely sunny day which made loading up a lot easier. It doesn't take long to fit the bikes in but the padding to avoid rattles (which I can't stand) adds to the time. After checking out of the motel drove down to try out Pr's Café, the one I saw on an evening walk, for breakfast. It was great, ate so much felt slightly guilty about just sitting driving today! I think driving adds weight but my average weight loss on this trip has been -1g(0.035 oz)/km cycled!
The route is familiar, both from other trips and some of it earlier in this year's travels, with plenty of scenery to fill in time between motel check-out/check-in times. Was heading from Westport to Inangahua via Buller Gorge, then Reefton and Lewis Pass (second time this year) to Hanmer Springs.
I was in no rush so stopped several times in Buller Gorge. Have been through here before but not really had the chance to stop and explore.
Although sunny the cloud hanging in the hills added atmosphere.
Tranquil today, this road is often compromised by flooding, as is the railway on the opposite bank.
Hawks Crag, Buller Gorge
Hawks Crag is a unique, if short, stretch of main highway.
It was originally carved out of a massive rock promontory for stagecoaches in the 1880s and hasn't changed much since!
Hawks Crag ca. 1900 - tight squeeze no room for error! | West Coast New Zealand History (recollect.co.nz)
At times you can jetboat it too...
Low-grade uranium mineralisation was discovered in the Hawks Crag Breccia in 1955. But despite prospecting over the next two decades, no economically recoverable deposits of uranium were found.
Hawks Crag – Geology – – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Buller Gorge twice more?
Soon after leaving the Gorge, I got a phone call from the motel, Bella Vista Westport. They'd found the Micro-SD card I had carefully set aside while trying to repair the Cycliq light. Extremely impressed they even noticed it, a tiny black card on dark laminate desktop, and called. Turned around and headed back, about 40km, but such a nice drive the chance to do it twice more was a bonus! The luxury of having a leisurely itinerary!
I wasn't really planning to stop in Reefton until saw the Main Street. Went for a wander and was impressed to find a town obviously bursting with pride evident in the well-kept businesses. It's another regional town cycling has contributed to with some popular mountain biking nearby. Not for me this time but an excuse, like I need one, to come back!
The atmosphere was enhanced by someone playing, skilfully, a piano outside one of the storefronts providing a live soundtrack.
Reefton Power 1886
Reefton got NZ's first public electric system in 1886. At the time, although remote, it was a wealthy town due to quartz and gold mining in the area. It operated until 1949 when the town became part of the National Grid.
Inangahua suspension bridge
Inangahua suspension bridge is a few kilometres down the road. I just stopped for a look, but it gives access to several hiking trails.
Love the road over Rahu Saddle (SH7) towards Springs Junction.
Lewis Pass (SH7) for the second time this year. It was part of my drive from Takaka to Christchurch in February.
Better weather this time, and much greener as the dry heat of summer had passed.
Stopped at the top of this Lewis Pass Rd, Island Hills SH7, hill again. A lot greener than it was back in February (small image below).
A stone took out the fog light glass without touching the paint on the recessed bumper surround. It was still working so not an urgent fix. E-mailed Italian Auto Centre (Fiat parts - new and used - & service in Otahuhu, Auckland) and found they are a common component across multiple Fiat Alfa models. They had a used replacement for $75 (for the whole light) ready to collect when back in Auckland. Who said Italian car parts were expensive?
Went for a wander around Hanmer Springs, just to stretch the legs, see what was open for dinner (still lots of food places closed or short hours), and take in nice sunny evening views. Didn't bother with the pools, you had to pre-book a time (to control numbers) and I wasn't that organised.
Previous < TO2122 Index > Next