Friday, 1 March 2013
Into Central Otago
The Brown, Dusty, and Rutted Roads
I left early the next morning and agreed to meet Rick and Jen later in Ranfurly. The countryside here is very brown and dusty and the road often degenerated into gravel and mud. This made the going slow and dangerous. It took me about four hours to go forty miles. I stopped for lunch for a long while, sitting in the sun, expecting them to catch up, but they didn't. Eventually I got to the small town of Ranfurly and after a tea and a sandwich I found the camp-site and set up.
Later I rode into town to do some shopping and whilst hosing the dust off my bike at a local garage, they turned up. Apparently Jen's bike had broken a couple of spokes on those tortuously rutted roads. This town didn't have a bicycle shop, but I had a couple of spokes to give them. Unfortunately it was also the back wheel and none of us had the right tools. Rick just hashed it up enough to last until the next town.
That evening we went for a drink in the local pub. Saturday night out!
Cricket and Gold
Rick and Jen decided to stay in Ranfurly that day so I left alone. Just out of town though I bumped into a Swiss guy, called Stefan, and we rode together for the rest of the day. We took a small by-way down this valley, climbed a steep hill out of it and then had a great downhill ride to a pub on the far side. We sat in the sun and had a sandwich. My odometer went through a thousand miles today.
After stopping off at another small town for a break we continued up the valley to a town called Clyde, near the dam of the same name. The camp-ground was right next to the cricket ground, and, it being a Sunday, a game was in progress. Stefan was mystified but I gained a few brownie points by enquiring after the score. This proved useful as we were invited into the club-house for a drink. I also met a chap from Riverton who knew Graham Robertson (Jo's Uncle). Small World. He also gave me a drink!
We camped beside the river listening to the sound of a dredger. Gold?