Today was the grand finale, the penultimate, last hoorah on the A20 Alps to Ocean trail.
I awoke in a single bed as the accomodation provided a choice of four single beds, 2 downstairs and 2 upstairs. We both chose downstairs.
The day was quite overcast with a forecast of possible rain. We were keen to get cracking, and were packed up and on the road by 7.30 am. Duntroon was still asleep and ever so quiet.
The trail headed south west through farmland.
The trail climbed up to Elephant Rocks, a set of interesting rocks! I am reliably informed by Hazel Fish that the area was used as a filming location for the first Chronicles of Narnia movie in 2005 when it was transformed into Aslan’s camp.
The trail continued through various farms where the pervading smell was cow pats! Very wet and splatting cow pats I noted as I grabbed my drink bidon for another sip!
One of the farm said had a very nasty section of switchbacks…about 7-8 of them. My mtb skills are not at the level required to climb and do such frequent tight turns. So I opted to be safer and walk this section.
The interesting rock formations continued through the farms.
Along Prydes Gully and onto Island Cliff we were surrounded by limestone escarpments. A sign indicated that there had been a school operating many years ago but no longer in existence.
Veering left the track crossed Karara Creek climbing through a series of gravel roads.
Lovely farmland vistas.
At the top of the first climb there was a random table begging for my attention.
Just before the Rakis railway tunnel there was an interesting piece of old equipment that lay abandoned.
From the junk equipment the trail descended to reveal the old railway tunnel that has not been operational for a long time. It is quite long and you cannot see the end when you ride through the first part. We did not have lights on the bikes so just hoped the ground underneath was level and we were tracking ok. Water dropped down on the bike helmets as well, somewhat being like in a cave.
On we rode arriving at the small village of Windsor. I could see a banner flying with the word “coffee”. Then I saw the name of the establishment and had to stop. It was a renovated church.
Inside we met the owner who has lived there for 27 years recently opening the church as a cafe to cater for the increasing bicycle tourism market. He is in a great location as it was about 33 km into our ride for the day and the very first option for anything refreshment wise.
Upon leaving he insisted on taking our photo.
The trail was really pleasant for the next 10 km.
Passing through farmland to Enfield and then Weston the trail rejoined an old railway line for a flat ride to the outskirts of Oamuru.
A song became stuck in my mind. A few nights ago I downloaded more songs onto Spotify on my IPad. One of the artists was Eric Carmen, former lead singer of The Raspberries. The song stuck in my head that would not go away was his solo hit “She did it” and I started to reflect on the A20 journey. Yes this was my shortest tour I had completed since 2007, but tricky in other ways experiencing the mtb side. So yes, SHE DID IT!
We passed through the very pretty and well maintained Oamuru Gardens. I was still humming my song thinking I would name my blog accordingly.
Riding through the Victorian Historic Precinct was an eye opener. What an extraordinarily quirky, funky town this is. Riding past Steampunk HQ was akin to viewing a Mad Max set.
Eric Carmen left my head and was immediately replaced with Lipps Inc. “Wont you take me to Funkytown”.
Around the corner and there it was. Friendly Bay and the Pacific Ocean!
When you reach your destination on riding tours it is always with mixed emotions. Pleased, because you achieved what you set out to do and are still in one piece. Melancholy because it’s over. We had ridden 359 km and climbed 2228 metres.
Time to say goodbye to the bikes. They were a bit grotty.
We had time for a wander. The children’s playground was fascinating!
A wander through the historic centre found artefacts of interest.
Then I got to meet a zwifter! The first zwifter outside of Tasmania that I have ever met in person. Steven often does the Asia 100 ride and a few months back after one such ride we then rode on until the 161 km Mark ( 100 miles).
It was lovely to meet Steven, his wife Hazel and three sons. We enjoyed a lovely lunch down on the waterfront.Oh, and we got to ride in his electric car. I was very intrigued as I had not been in one before.
So tomorrow it is ooroo to South Island. Tony flies home to go back to work and I fly to Auckland for more cycling adventures.
Stay tuned!! Oh and I must go and listen to some other music…Big Cadillac is playing as I sit here in McDonakds using their free wifi..