Day 34: Hari Hari to GreymouthJournal for 2014-11-23 | Published on 2014-11-26 23:56:33
We had quite a ride today. We began with a hearty breakfast at the hotel, both getting the continental breakfast and then splitting a large plate of bacon, eggs, sausage, toast, and hash browns. Needless to say, we were both stuffed starting out. It was cloudy, but starting to break up as we got going.
It was really flat, fast riding for the first 12 km or so, and then we rode through some small hills around a bunch of little scenic reserves. We missed the giant Matai tree at Lake Ianthe, as there was no sign, but we saw lots of other large trees, including the largest cabbage tree we’ve seen yet. It was still cloudy, so our views of the surroundings were seriously hindered, some just settled into riding.
Before we knew it, we had gone 20 km, and then 40 km, and we decided to wait to eat lunch in Ross at about 50 km. The sun finally started winning the fight with the clouds, and by the time we were in sight of the ocean again (and close to Ross) it made its appearance for good. We enjoyed lunch at a picnic table in Ross, then headed over to the information site, which told all about the history of Ross, an old gold mining town, where the largest gold nugget in NZ was found. We passed the current gold mining operation on our way into town. They use current techniques to get gold out of the paydirt that previous miners couldn’t get at.
Matt was interested in riding one of the Wilderness trails, and one started in Ross, so he got directions, but unfortunately, with all the rain, the river was up, so the only way across the river was an old, worn down, not very safe-looking railroad bridge, and I (Pam) was very hesitant to go across it. There was no decking on the bridge only a 12x12 support timber and a handrail on one side. This was no short bridge either, probably 100-150m across, so a wrong move and us or the bikes were going 10m down into the river. So, we scrapped that idea, and headed north on the highway.
And then we rode, and rode, and rode. The road was mostly flat all the way into Greymouth. We saw another cycle tourist about 10 km out of Ross, and we stopped to chat. He was working his way south and had advice for us heading north. We gave him advice for heading south. Then we both went our separate ways. At that point we were halfway to our goal, knowing we could call it a day if needed at a few various places.
The sun was shining, the wind was blowing from the side, the road was flat. Very great riding conditions, and when we got to Hokitika, even though we had already ridden 80 km, we decided to continue on the last 40 km to Greymouth. Who knows what the weather will be like tomorrow? And you can’t ask for a flatter road. So we kept going. At various times we both got tired and didn’t want to ride anymore. But the one would cheer the other on, and we kept going. All the way until we reached the Holiday Park in Greymouth. It’s right near the beach, so first things first, we put our bikes in front of our cabin and headed down to watch the tumultuous surf that is the Tasman Sea.
Hungry, we went about making dinner and showering, walked down to the beach to try to see a sunset (there was a low layer of clouds right on the horizon, so it wasn’t as spectacular as we could have hoped), and now we’re settling in for the night. Maybe we’ll sleep in a little tomorrow.
Distance: 116.32 km
Ave Speed: 17.44 kmh
Max Speed: 46.97 kmh
Climb: 672 m
Leaving Hari Hari
Further down the road outside Hari Hari
Oldest Cabbage Tree we have seen, this thing was huge.
Lichen and Moss on a rock that Matt found interesting
The ferns coming in shades of green/red
Trees near the ocean bending from the salt spray
Pam's favorite native bird the Pukeko. Normaly they walk around, this one was forced to fly by an oncoming car.
Typically view from the road, forest on the right, grass on the left to a dune over which was the Tasman Sea.
The craziest one way bridge yet, not only did it support car traffic in two directions, but it had train tracks down the middle!
Finally a West Coast sunset.
just got caught up on your adventure, I'm jealous and proud of my little sister. It looks beautiful, keep it up!
Thanks, Matt! That means so much to me ☺ We're definitely having a blast!
Hey You guys, You have covered a lot of ground in the last week or so. peace and love, tracey
We finally seem to be finding our groove! Thanks for following along!
Happy Thanksgiving, I love you, peace and love, mom