Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 52: Milton to Owaka

April 26th 2014
Distance cycled: 60 km
Total distance to date: 3034 km

Finally broke 3000km today!

After my alarm going off at 7 (accidentally; I'd forgotten I'd set it), we all got up around 8 and headed to the kitchen. Tony was up and had a fire going in the stove. I cooked my oatmeal on the hot surface.

The day was windy but no rain was supposed to fall. Gabi and I left Tony's Happy Inn Backpackers as two very happy customers. Here's Gabi taking a picture of the hostel: 

We headed out on SH1 again. Tony had recommended a detour that would add a few kilometers but increase the rideability  significantly. We followed his instructions and were immensely pleased with the results. It took us away from SH1 into Balclutha.

In Balclutha, we stopped at the info center to get some info (that's what you do at an info center, I suppose). Gabi needed to buy a tarp so she went off to Warehouse while I went ahead to the cafe to get a head start on our coffee break. 

Leaving Balclutha, we had a tailwind taking us the 20km out to Kaka Point. 

As we left Kaka Point, the tailwind turned to a headwind. 

We got to Owaka and considered our options. It was a bit too late to make it to the campsite as we originally hoped. The YHA hostel was closed and the town inn campsite looked uninspiring. Our last option was the Split Level Backpackers. We found it and walked in. No one was there but they had a sign on the door telling us to enter and claim a room, and the manager would catch up with us later. We found this quaint in the sense that only a small-town hostel could have that kind of system.

The place looked almost like a home; it would be a place I would live, even, if it weren't for the god-awful carpet. We were the only people there. We claimed the dorm room and started making ourselves tea and a snack. As we sat down in the sun-lit living room, Brian the manager came in and greeted us. He said that the double room was booked so we could expect company. Gabi and I were happy about this. They showed up while we were making dinner. They were a young couple from Holland, visiting the woman's Canadian father and girlfriend living in NZ and touring around using the girlfriend's borrowed car. We had a nice chat over dinner and then retired for the night.


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