Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 41: Rakaia Gorge to Geraldine

April 14th 2014
Distance cycled: 82 km
Total distance to date: 2508 km

Last night was cold! No frost but I definitely had to go to bed with lots of clothing on - including that fleece I found on the way out of Christchurch. Glad I took it with me! 

The view from the Rakaia Gorge campsite is quite nice:

Unfortunately, camping in a gorge means that your first order of the day is to climb a really steep hill up out of it. Man, was it steep! And with no warm-up. But the first 400m or so was the steepest. After that the grade became more manageable.

The rest of the day was pretty tame. A few raindrops here and there, but mostly quiet backroads through farmland. Traffic picked up leading into Geraldine. I was looking for a wifi spot on my way into town so I could check Warm Showers. Luckily, there was a farm stand/cafe on the highway that had it. I needed to buy some fruit and veggies anyway, so I made my purchase and received a wifi code. My host had cancelled on me so I was going to need to find a place to stay. I used the wifi to find the cheapest campground, which I had actually already passed about 3kms back. I doubled back and for $15 became a guest of Grumpy's Retreat for the night. I was greeted by Grumpy himself - he actually had a name tag to this effect. 

The place was directly on the highway so I expected some traffic noise, but actually the place was relatively quiet. I spent a good chunk of time reading my book in the kitchen, where I also cooked an enormous dinner of roasted veggies, rice and peanut curry. (It's almost sickening to think about the quantities of food I'm able to consume on this cycle tour.) The kitchen was warm, spacious, well-equipped and spotless, which is why I was surprised I had it mostly to myself the entire evening. The night was a little rainy, but thankfully not as cold as the previous night. 


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