To the Ocean
Suaday 12th March
Kurow - Oamaru
We were up at 6am to allow time to have eggs for breakfast. According to Jo, our host, they were colony eggs and not free range. There is a shortage of eggs in New Zealand at the moment as the government ban on battery-caged eggs has come into effect combined with a ban on importing eggs and supermarkets phasing out colony cage eggs. Eggs will need to be barn or free-range. Anyway, at least we had eggs for breakfast.
We were on the road by 7:30 and stopped at Wild Sage to buy lunch provisions. We heard such good things about the ginger macadamia slice that we had to buy two. After all, we had more than 80kms to cover today and we didn't want to go hungry.
It was another beautiful morning, and easy riding along the trail. We knew that we had to ford three small streams but only two had water. I was glad of my sandals as I splashed through the shallow water, pushing my bike over the rough surface. There was a flood route alternative, so you could imagine what it would be like after heavy rain.
The trail then made its way beside the road - we decided to head straight up the road and there was little traffic on a Sunday morning. We stopped to look at the historic rock art and learn a little about the area before heading into Duntroon.
We enjoyed an excellent coffee and some rhubarb and honey cake at the Flying Pig cafe, the first time we had been able to stop for morning tea at a cafe along the Alps2Ocean trail.
We stopped at Elephant Rocks, some 6kms on, to explore these interesting limestone formations. They were clearly ideal for bouldering as we watched a group take on the challenge.
We stayed on the road as it climbed, eventually reaching the top, where we chatted to a local about the many rides in the area and how much she enjoyed doing them on her Ebike. She recommended stopping for lunch just near the railway tunnel, which was a lovely spot, with its own special Alps2Ocean water supply.
We had been warned that we needed lights in the Rakis Railway tunnel, but it turned out to be quite short and we continued along the rail trail through rolling fields before alternating between the road and the cycle trail into Oamaru. The Oamaru gardens were lovely and we cycled along an interesting street in the old town, but unfortunately most of the places were closing.
We reached the harbour for the obligatory photo at the end of the trail. We had completed it in four days, which rated as fast and "best suited for experienced cyclists with limited time to spare". We discussed how we could have extended the time, but felt we had balanced the distances well, and liked cycling the longer days. It was a great trip. The scenery was absolutely stunning, and we had near perfect weather as well as excellent accommodation. But I must confess to wishing at least once or twice that I had an Ebike as I pushed my bike up the occasional steeper and/or rougher sections of a hill.