Water water everywhere …
It is funny, isn’t it? You hear people talking about things but you don’t really get them until you see them for yourself.
One example is people not knowing grammar and other people not paying attention. How many people do you think handled that sign from production to hanging.
This is not however what I want to talk about. As soon as I got to New Zealand I was told about how warm and dry Christmas and January had been. Then, when I was down south I was told about the drought condition in both Otago and, particularly, in Canterbury.
Well, today I saw it, river after river I went past they were either completely dried up or they had a little trickle of water where once a big roaring river would have flown.
I stopped and was quite amused at the wit of the farming supply shopkeeper, I presume the conversation around these parts is pretty much only about rain. I am sure the farmers will be complaining but to them goes little of my symphony as, while the crop will be smaller, the quality will be far higher. In fact all those wine lovers out there, remember, kiwi wines year 2015 will be an excellent vintage.
These were the thoughts that went through my head while riding today, as yesterday it was a long day, second day in a row that I do more than 60 miles and it turns out tomorrow will be the same.
The scenery did improve mildly, especially in the afternoon and the advice I got to get the road closer to the mountains was a good one, less traffic, some mountains to look at.
Unfortunately, having been through the south of Otago has well spoiled me and the Canterbury mountains, while lovely are not a comparison for the Remarkables.
I did my 63 miles in a little more than 5 hours, not bad considering I was steadily climbing. Tomorrow will be downhill most of the day so I expect to make much better timing.
The camp is basic but lovely and with great views. The only problem is that it appears there are sand flies and I’m please not to have got rid of the insect repellent cream in the great purge of two days ago.
After I set up camp I went for a walk in the river bed, yet another example of the lack of water around here. The Rakaia river should be far bigger than this even at the end of the summer, or so I am told.
The bits where there is water are incredible though, the water is topaz blue and incredibly clean, I am surprised I could not see fish, but there must be many as there are quite a few fishermen in the camp.
Anyway, I will get to Christchurch tomorrow and in another 5 days my south island adventure will come to an end, the only thing I can say for sure is that I will come back as there are so many other things to do and see here that I did not have the time to do and see.