Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 47: Windsor to Kakanui

April 20th 2014
Distance cycled: 35 km
Total distance to date: 2856 km

I cut today's ride off after only 35km. It was Easter Sunday, after all. I decided I deserved a half day. There were a few factors involved in my decision. One is that I hadn't slept very well because of the techno party going on practically outside my window. The second was my desire to check out Oamaru, requiring a few hours of prime midday riding time. And the third was the lack of campsites further down the road. Plus, I was just tired and wanted some down time off the bike to read and laze about in the sun. 

I left Kay and Doug's at around 11 after tinkering with my bike a bit. Just down the street was a place called God's Old House, which I thought was a funny name - did God sell the place and retire to heaven? - but Kay had explained that it was a B&B in a converted church. 

The ride into town was sunny and went downhill through farmland. On Kay's advice I ignored the trail signs and stuck to the main road. This turned out to be a good choice since it kept me on the pavement and the trail met back up with the road later anyway.

Oamaru is a coastal town with its fair share of tourist attractions. There are two penguin colonies here and the town center has a Victorian quarter. They bill themselves as being the Steampunk Capital of New Zealand. You can even ride a penny farthing if you want, which is one of those old-fashioned bicycles with a big front wheel and a tiny back one. 

I think steampunk is kind of stupid but in glad there's a gathering place for people who enjoy it. They apparently hold a big steampunk festival here every year.

I went down to the waterfront and didn't see any penguins, but did see a big steampunk-themed playground. 

The farmer's market was on and all the little crafts shops were open, so I took a stroll around and enjoyed the atmosphere. 

After doing my rounds, which included buying more fudge than I should have (which regrettably wasn't as good as it looked), I headed south on Beach Road.

This road was partially closed, as I discovered further on. In this picture you can see the road is severely washed out:

A big fence blocked access and had a sign warning all to keep out, including pedestrians and cyclists. When I arrived, a man and his grandson were busy hoisting their bikes up and over the tall fence. Now THIS is the brand of punk I can get behind. I thought about joining them, but I didn't want to unload/lift/reload my bike. So I went around and followed another road to Kakanui, where I registered at the campsite and spent a leisurely afternoon and evening reading in the sun, talking a few beach walks, and cooking myself some delicious macaroni and cheese. It rained a little in the night but mostly all you could hear were the waves of the South Pacific Ocean crashing on the shore. 


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