Great weather for farmers....and ducks.....
But not for cyclists.
Howling winds woke us early and it was not an encouraging sound.
"Hmmm", I said, "I think I would prefer rain to these winds". Famous last words.
By the time we had breakfasted, the wind had dropped and the clouds were ominous.
Ominous clouds greet us in the morning
By the time we had loaded the bikes and made our farewells to Pat and Bruce, we had all upgraded our riding gear from warm tops to raincoats.
By the time we left, it was raining. And it rained the whole way to Roxburgh.
The rain sets in
Fortunately today was the shortest cycling day of our planned trails, so it was only 19 km in the wet. The views were still good for the most part, but the hills were obscured by clouds. We cycled near the river, diverting inland at times, and the track, whilst wet, was still easy riding. The river looked quite different in the rain, still magnificent but not so appealing.
A mud spattered cyclist
A rainy view of the river
By the time we arrived in Roxburgh we were soaked and headed straight to our booked accommodation in the hope we could check in early. Really early as it was only just after 11am. There were a few people around and we couldn't quite work out who we should be speaking to about early access.
It turns out that another Australian party of nine people was in the process of checking out but had sick children, one of whom was asleep in the carport. They had cancelled their planned ride down the trail and were arranging car transport out. We took the opportunity to wash down our filthy bikes and panniers, and were soon able to access the apartment, get showered and change into warm, dry clothes. We set up a makeshift drying room in a space that could have been a laundry, but with no useful white goods, like a washing machine or dryer.
Clothes draped around a heater, we put our wet shoes and socks back on to walk 10 minutes into town to try the famous Jimmys pies for lunch. Pat had recommended the old style mutton pie, so we all tried one, and soon had broth dripping through our fingers. Tasted great though. We also got an apple pie to go.
Next stop was the little supermarket for dinner supplies, and the obligatory custard, this time to go with apple pie. This time we had a few more dinner options. We then stopped at the Store for coffee and hot chocolates which we knew to be okay from our previous stopover on the bus.
We visited the information centre to stock up on brochures, as a wet afternoon provided the perfect opportunity to continue planning our next NZ cycle trip.
Smells of bolognaise sauce soon wafted through the apartment, the perfect comfort food for a cold, rainy day. Regular checks of the drying room showed things were drying nicely so hopefully we will have dry shoes for the next leg of our cycle, the Roxburgh gorge trail.
By 6pm the rain had stopped and clear weather is forecast for tomorrow (fingers crossed the weather forecasters are right).