Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 53: Owaka to Curio Bay

April 27th 2014
Distance cycled: 70 km
Total distance to date: 3104 km

Woke up this morning to a cold hostel, which made getting out from under the electric blanket quite the hard task. The heater only worked in the living room, apparently; thus the electric blankets on the beds, I suppose. We said goodbye to Dutch couple and headed out. We stopped by the kitschy-wonderful Teapot Land for a photo before leaving Owaka. 

A quick and nice ride to the Purakaunui Falls was next, followed by a good gravel road through quiet farmland back to the main road. The Purakaunui Falls are the most photographed thing in the Catlins, apparently!

We stopped in at a place called the Lost Gypsy. It was a green bus turned into an interactive gallery. I remembered that the retired British couple and their grandkids had told me about this place and recommended that I visit it. What a wonderful place! Chock full of whimsical handmade creations and funny pointless stuff. Kinda like Archie McPhees but all the stuff was made by Blair, the owner and creator, who was on site to play guitar and tease customers. 

They had coffee too, but we decided just to donate a few coins into Blair's money sorter made of cut-up tin cans and continue on along the beautiful coast. 

Another 11km took us to the Whistling Frog cafe for expensive yet delicious coffee and a bowl of fries with a wonderful aioli. The Dutch couple from the backpackers the night before was there, which was a surprise since vehicles can move so much faster than bikes. But there is much to see and do in this region of the country. Bret McKenzie once ate at this cafe too, as evidenced by this photo hanging on the wall there:

No idea who the other people in the photo are. 

A beautiful ride through native forest, mostly downhill after a 200-meter climb, took us away from the Whistling Frog. The last 12km into Curio Bay were mostly easy too, and pretty along a lake. 

At camp we saw the Dutch couple again. They weren't staying though. They were planning on going to Invercargill that night.  

We set up camp in a day shelter right in the nick of time, just before the rain set in. The kitchen was a tiny concrete box where 6 other campers were trying to cook so we cooked at the shelter after boiling the water in the kitchen kettle.

This was our view from the shelter:

The waves could be heard from our campsite. Although it was a little loud for my taste, making it difficult to sleep, we were at least dry under the shelter. 


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