Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 54: Curio Bay to Invercargill

April 28th 2014
Distance cycled: 87 km
Total distance to date: 3191 km

To our surprise, we awoke this morning to dry weather. Before leaving Curio Bay we had to take a look at the petrified forest. I wasn't terribly impressed and didn't see any penguins, although a fellow tourist insisted he could see some in the bushes. 

We followed a terrible gravel road to Slope Point, which meant a 6km detour one-way plus a 20-minute walk. Slope Point is the southernmost point of New Zealand's South Island. The only redeeming feature of a detour where you have to retrace your steps is the option of leaving your packs behind and picking them up on the way back. However, this did not occur to us until we were more than halfway there. So we kept our packs on and slogged up the hill. 

The wind is so brutal here coming up off the ocean that they are permanently shaped facing inland. 

At Slope Point, we met a group of Malaysians, who had passed us on the way and continued to pass us all day. 

The rest of the day was plagued by wind and rain. We took our coffee break at Fortrose at a cafe run by a grumpy old man who didn't seem to like us drying our rain gear near his fireplace. We'd have been the only ones there, except for the fact that we got in right after the Malaysians who we'd met at Slope Point. They'd ordered a bunch of food so we just ordered coffee and a pastry so as to get our orders faster. We watched the weather outside turn from drizzle to sun multiple times as we sat and drank our coffee. 

Finally we set off again in the erratic weather. 

My guidebook had no info about the 47km between Fortrose and Invercargill, presumably because there wasn't anything there. And that turned out to be true.  Even the campground, which according to Gabi's map should have been 20km outside of town at Mokotea, did not exist. There was a convenience store there but nothing else. We had no choice but to continue pedaling in the growing darkness towards the city. We dug out our red taillights and soldiered on. 

Luckily the traffic on this road was sparse. But still, cycling in the dusk wasn't fun, especially with the rain. 

We found the backpackers and checked in. It was full of young Germans who had been working in NZ and were busy deciphering tax code so they could file their tax returns. The backpackers was called Southern Comfort and, true to its name, was quite homey. Showering was the first thought on our minds after a day of windy rainy coldness.

After a hot shower, we hung our wet stuff out to dry and set out to go grocery shopping. We were sidetracked by Domino's Pizza. So dinner ended up being pizza from Domino's, which only cost $5. We thought this was a steal until we got back to the hostel and ate it and realized we could easily eat another between the two of us. By then it was too late to go shopping, so we just ate everything else we could find in our bags. Turned out to be an avocado, a carrot, some bread, some naan, peanut butter, leftover broccoli with rice, and Cadbury chocolate. Not a bad haul for two ravenous cyclists. 


At 16:59, Blogger Jamie Linnenkohl said...

Weird picnic!!


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