Wednesday November 7, 2012, 55 miles (89 km) – Total so far: 830 miles (1,336 km)
Last night we had a good dinner and rest as we knew Haast Pass going to Otago Valley was known as “the wrong way” because of the steep climb. The first 25 miles were fairly easy with the usual ups and downs but then the steep climbing started. The views were just amazing and this ride is known as one of the most beautiful in all of New Zealand. Riding through a rainforest along the Haast River surrounded by snowcapped mountains with a waterfall around every curve was just awesome. This has got to be one of the most beautiful rides in the world. The challenge of the climb just made it more awesome. The climbing soon turned to an occasional walk and the true meaning of what Kiwis call a “push bike” came through. We have climbed higher here but not as steep.
Soon we reached the peak and screamed down the other side. What a trip! Otago Valley was equally beautiful and we found a nice A-Frame cabin in the tiny town of Makarora. What a treat. I am making this update from the town lodge where we will soon eat dinner. Laundry is hanging on the line and soon we will rest. Tomorrow we climb several hills to Lake Wanaka.