TandemTA Day 29, we reach South Island West Coast

Our first attempt at holding up a Rory Peck Trust logo for our fundraising, now gone somewhat silent after a fabulous first rush of donations getting us just over £1500. Still almost as much to go, and when the sun comes out again, so will the logo.

Day one of Week Five of our tandem tour of New Zealand has brought us from Blackball right onto the West Coast, and the rain. Bearing in mind that this edge of NZ gets up to 18 METRES of rain a year in parts, it’s perhaps not surprising that we’ve finally had a soaking.

And now, the goats. Read here first, perhaps, then the caption to the picture below. Says it all.

Don’t trust what you read in the media. Says this former journalist. BBC and many others are reporting a herd of marauding wild goats terrorising the NZ West Coast settlement of Blackball. See stock picture above – NOT of the goats in question. Except that we spent two nights in Blackball, and not a sign of terrorising ruminants, except for one docile billygoat tethered on the plot opposite. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story – which this one would be if true.

With a further 80km under our belts, Monday’s ride from Blackball to Kumara was a fabulous day’s cycling. Jutta’s sore but now-nursed tendon held out brilliantly, thanks in part to much shorter gradients and a transition from hills to flatlish coastal cycle paths.

Daisy bagged up and ready to foray into the rain.
Into the rain.
Can’t be sure whether this tree alongside the trail is indigenous or a 19th century import. Either way, it ain’t giving up easily.

Today, after a rest and dry-out at the utterly fabulous Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara, we’re beetling forward along the off-road Wilderness Trail to Hokitika on the coast, where an overnight awaits with a further Warmshowers cycling colleague.

Daisy at the end of the breakwater in Greymouth. The river is named after a 19th century British imperial administrator, not the weather. Though that would be just as apposite. Note the low-slung cloud.

The low-slung cloud came right in on us as we finally approached Kumara around eight in the evening, as the heavens opened on the path through swamp and jungle. Magnificent, and magnificently wet.

Cycling through the swap forest from Greymouth to Kumara, towards approaching deluge, on New Zealand’s best new cycle track, the Wilderness Trail. Magic.
Goretex is rubbish! At least for this one wet cyclist. Mark’s new £250 jacket from the Kathmandu sports outlet dramatically failed to keep out the rain, so have had to buy yet another new one, at same huge price, just to stay vaguely dry. Kathmandu are a lovely bunch, so am hopeful for a refund…
Going back to Palmerston North on North Island, where a new Goretex jacket seemed such a find and a relief. The delightful store manager Glenn, in picture, helped with the choice, and will be as gutted as I am that it didn’t do the business,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: