Another free day, but still up relatively early, flights to book at STA before cycling.
It was raining out, so not an ideal way to start the day, but after a while sitting in STA messing with flight times and dates the rain had eased and I had successfully organised 2 weeks in Aus before returning to NZ in April!
Picked up the bikes and we were pointed in the right direction – head for the water, take a left and follow the lake until you see the signs – my kind of directions! Sadly it was still drizzling and when we reached the water it was windy (as in blowing a gale). The route to Arrowtown is essentially all off road apart from one little bit (that bit was badly signed so thankfully a friendly local pointed us in the right direction). The route was also waaaay hillier than I’d imagined or the map really gave away. It followed the lake around and then the river, but finally you climbed up the canyon walls on switchbacks before wheeling back down (why, why not just stay at one level?!). I suffered from flappy gears and a rubbish derailier (was always in the wrong gear at key hilly moments).
As with the DOC signs distances seemed to be arbitrary, at one point we were further away from Arrowtown than when we’d started cycling!
We reached a point where the route split getting towards the end of the trail, were trying to decide which way to go when a couple appeared and said the route along the river was lovely and undulating – no hills, so off we went….. They lied, there were definite hills, but we battled on through with the promise of a pub at the end!
We arrived into Arrowtown in the sunshine (it had come out at some point, I was too busy with hills and gears to notice….). The town is tiny enough that you can see it from end to end and soon found the pub we’d be picked up from later, the Fork and Tap, so stopped there for a well earned, if slightly late, lunch – their all day breakfast with really yummy potato cakes and a small pint-ette.
Feeling refreshed and reinvigorated we had a slow walk around the town – it still took less than 5 minutes from one end to the other…… The way back took longer, we stopped for coffee and visited a shop full of the most amazing collection of NZ tat you’ve ever seen.
Soon enough we were back outside the pub, so what to do? Pop back in for another beer seemed the best option……
The minibus came to collect us and the bikes at 4:45 and off we went on a far easier journey back to Queenstown. Turns put one of the other passengers had lived in Finsbury Park – such a small world!
We dropped the bikes back at the rental shop and I realised we were back in time for me to collected my flight tickets, in their funky folder, ready for Aus!
After much wandering and menu reading we found ourselves in an American diner for dinner – never having had one I went for a foot long chilli cheese hot dog – was delicious!!!
Post dinner was packing time, but made better by the company of Adam and Joe (Buxton and Cornish), timeless classics! Why be Denny Different?