After a nice rest day in Twizel which I used to make use of the rare gift of network reception and wifi, sending another foodbox to the middle of the next section (so now only four respectively five days of food to carry instead of nine) and the consumption of fruits, veggies and a lot of beer ??

And finaly there is beer for hikers – just a powder which you have to add water! Now the vacation begins ?
We decided to tackle the next 56km to Tekapo a little bit different – instead of walking the section in two long or three short days we rented bikes and just did it in one. We thought that Tag mein Leben his was very smart and also just a lot of fun to do something different to walking in between. But…

As always – only difference was that Ben was not there to be blamed for it as usual – we already had a two hour delay to our original plan when we left at 9.30h. As most of you know – I am very familiar with delays and very good in producing them myself (respectively never being on time to be frank) – so I do feel very much understood and happy in my new surroundings ?

Anyways, at one point of time Breann, Jay and I started since Ben was on a side trip to Mt. Cook which I skipped to rest my leg. Our backpacks on the backs and some of our food and heavy stuff in the provided saddle bags we were on the trail for only 15 minutes when a guy stopped and told us that there was a mountain bike race on the trail as well and we would have to expect a couple of hundred bikers coming into our direction. His advice: “We also have the world champion on board so they are flying. If you see them better give way.” Good point! Once the first group passed us we knew what he meant.

It was a real race and they were using the entire trail so we just waited in the fields when we had bikers coming. Very much appreciated by them and as all the Kiwis very laid back and nice comments and greetings from many of them even being in an official race. Besides the fact that we did not make any kilometres in the first 1,5h since we usually only made 100-200m before we had to stop again and also the last biker had passed us we were also covered in dust completely! It was very dry and apparently the hottest day of the summer so far and every group which passed us added another layer of dust on us.

Even though we had not spent a lot of time on the bike yet we could tell already that it was a bad idea to keep our backpacks on the backs instead of having them transported to Tekapo by the guys that were picking up our bikes anyways. Not only that you could feel the weight on every little uphill slope but even worse is having weight on your back which then presses you in the saddle even harder. Saddles are not comfortable anyways but with 15kg extra on your back it really hurts. That’s probably why biker always have huge bags on their bikes and only very small backpacks ? Every rock or ditch on the gravel road was another highlight when you were lifted up slightly into the air before you went back down into the saddle with the backpack giving you an extra bounce – “scrambled eggs”…

Besides the pain the trip was beautiful! We had a clear day with a perfect view on Mt. Cook from Lake Pukaki with its beautiful blue colour.

We circled around the lake had a couple of breaks to enjoy the views.

Since we thought biking would be easier I even catered beer for the day ?


What is incorrect on this picture?

We followed an artificial canal which is used to produce hydro power. It took us way longer than expected and with every minute longer on the bike the pain was getting stronger and more annoying. Bit overall still fun and a good decision.
Learning of the day: Never ride a bike with a heavy backpack! Don’t do it!

We skipped our original plan to hike the next 15km directly after the bike ride and pitched our tent in Tekapo. Went for a swim in the lake which was the first encounter with water in NZ where you could actually go in without screaming and stay in for a little while since it was not freezing. Felt amazing to get all the sweat and dust off.

Ben is back in the “family” and STD (scheduled time of departure) 7.30h tomorrow – let’s see how good we are ?