The last day of our Alps To Ocean ride started with breakfast at Burnside Homestead.
Most large NZ houses of this era were laid out as rooms along corridors/wings. Burnside is unusual in having a huge octagonal centre parlour with most of the rooms radiating off it.
It was cool to see reproductions of the original plans in the house history album.
We breakfasted in style this morning, Alison & Bruce hosting in their period apparel.
It was an emotional farewell. Alison & Bruce are retiring (well deserved) and the house has been sold. Although it appears the new owner will honour the heritage of the homestead it is unlikely to be offering accommodation, the end of an era. I think we were the last tour, certainly the last Adventure South tour, to stay there.
Back on the bikes on a beautiful fine day for the short run into Oamaru. It is intentional to give riders time to appreciate the sights of the town, but we’d already covered that on our ‘day off visit’ earlier in the ride.
This section includes quite a long tunnel, the Rakis Railway Tunnel. My Cycliq headlight (part of the camera) came in handy for this bit!
I doubled back to light the way for some of the others. As I finally emerged from the tunnel I was surprised to hear what sounded like a large group of people chatting.
It was a large walking group who were having their morning tea before tackling the tunnel.
The trail to Oamaru traverses a lot of farmland, mostly flat or downhill.
Irrigation is becoming a rather contentious issue in some parts of NZ.
A dining chair in the sun but no sign of anyone to sit in it.
A rather macabre, if accurate, road sign; [Slaughteryard Rd | No Exit]
Back at The Fort Enfield Pub, last nights dinner spot, for morning tea!
A memorial of significance, commemorating the sudden recent loss of a family member of one of our riders.
Back to the Oamaru Victorian Precinct, this time on a sunny day. The bunting wasn’t for us but felt like it was to celebrate getting to the finish line.
The obligatory group shot to mark the end of a great ride, with great people, lots of laughs and many memories.
Before setting off for Christchurch there was time for a last group meal at Scotts Brewing.
My pizza and beer vanished rapidly!
I wrote these posts in July/August from memory, notes made on the road, video and photos of the trip in April/May. This was about when I heard Diane had, after a short illness, died of cancer. I was shocked and saddened but decided to write to the trip timeline, rather than mention it before now.
I didn't know Diane prior to the trip but from this brief acquaintance it was apparent she was a amazing person. She had led a life of adventure and it was a privilege to cycle with her, see her enjoying the country and company, on what would (unknowingly) be her last tour. Vale Diane, you will be missed.
Our final cycle leg was only 33km, followed by the drive back to Christchurch. In total we cycled ~314km, the extra road riding “Under the rainbow” on day one making up for some of the trail we missed on our Oamaru rain day visit.