lebt noch, schreibt aber grad nicht

Arthur’s Pass

20. Januar 2009

Day 33: Greymouth to Lake Pearson

This was day one of my final crossing of the Southern Alps, and the last big challenge of the trip. And a challenge it was! Arthur’s Pass it without doubt the hardest climb I have done so far! And it didn’t particularly help that I had to cycle 100km before I even got to the pass…

Arthurs PassArthurs PassArthurs PassArthurs PassArthurs PassLake Pearson

Tailwind and Jade

19. Januar 2009

Day 32: Ferguson to Greymouth

My last day on the westcoast. I stopped for lunch in Hokitika, but unfortunately the pies that are supposed to be the best in New Zealand (according to Matze) were sold out already. Instead I had a look at all the Jade (Greenstone) stores, before I continued north to Greymouth. Here I finally found the most expensive campsite ($19), but at least the showers were free.

HokitikaKumara JunctionKumara Junction

The Old Church

18. Januar 2009

Day 30 & 31: Okarito to Ferguson

The rain that started the previous night did not stop until early afternoon, but I still decided to cycle on. I stayed almost dry, except for one good shower, and the ride was quite easy, except for one good climb up Mt. Hercules. I had already planned to follow Kathrin’s recommendation and stay a night at the Old Church. This actually is the old church of Ross, which was put on a truck and driven out into the middle of nowhere, to be transformed into a hostel. The place is actually so nice that I hoped it would rain the following day, and I’d have to stay another night. This indeed happended, and I spent a day reading by the fire.

West CoastSandfliesThe Old Church

Kiwi Tours

16. Januar 2009

Day 29: Fox Glacier to Okarito

Only a short ride today, but not an easy one: between Fox and Franz Josef are two steep 200m climbs. After that I took the side road to Okarito, situated at the coast and the Okarito Lagoon. This is where the rarest of all Kiwis lives, and where Kiwi-enthusiast Ian has his Kiwi-Tours business. They go out in the evening with small groups and try to see Kiwi. With the help of radio location, red lights and a lot of patience we actually heard and saw two Kiwis.

After out spotting we hurried back, because the weather was not looking too friendly. This night I experienced my first rain on the West Coast, after six days of susnhine. But I guess after all the wind down south I sort of deserved that.

West CoastWest CoastOkarito

Hot Springs at Welcome Flat

15. Januar 2009

Day 27 & 28: The Copland Track

Two days without cycling! I left my bike and most of my gear at the campsite in Fox to go tramping on the Copland Track. After hitchhiking the 30km south to the start of the track, I spent a wonderful day walking through the rainforest and climbing to Welcome Flat. The track continues from there, and it is possible to cross the Souther Alps and come down to Mt. Cook on the other side. For the less adventurous there is a nice hut and some natural hotpools. I picked the right day to come, because apparently the hut was totally full the previous night, and almost empty when I was there. I had a good evening with a cold beer in a hot pool ­čÖé

Copland TrackCopland TrackCopland TrackHotpoolsHotpoolsWelcome Flat Hut

Next day, same way down, and it took even less time to get a ride back to my bike. I stayed another night in Fox and went to have a look at Lake Matheson, which offers one of New Zealand’s most famous views.

Lake MathesonLake MathesonMt Cook and Tasman