Ride to Akaroa

Michael and I rode to Akaroa and back. However, old age and laziness prevented us riding the whole way. Instead we drove to Hilltop and rode along the Summit road, descending via Long Bay road to Akaroa. We ate some expensive tourist food and rode back. By the time we reached Hilltop again we were two puddles of sweat.

View towards Akaroa side of harbour (Banks Peninsula) resize Michael does repeats (Banks Peninsula) resize

Above left: View out towards Akaroa harbour. Above right: Michael does repeats while waiting for me to reach the top of the hill. Oh old age is a nasty thing.

Above: Cycling along the Summit road.

Riding to Akaroa from Hilltop with Michael_web[maptype=G_HYBRID_TYPE]

Above: Our route.

Hilltop to Akaroa via Summit road and back via bays – Time: 2:46:40 Dst: 54.54 km Avg: 19.63 km/h Max: 75.6 km/h

Otehake Cold Pools

Katie, Emily, and I drove up to Arthurs Pass and down the Otira gorge to Aickens where we had planned to tramp into the Otehake hot pools for the night. We set off soon after midday. The weather was a bit average but ok. Our first problem arose 20 minutes in when we couldn’t find a place to cross the river. We hunted up and down the riverbank for some time making little attempts at crossing before finally giving up and walking all the way up to the Deception bridge and crossing it there.

We walked down the otherside of the Otira river and turned right following the track to Lake Kaurapataka arriving there around 8 pm. As we were still eager to relax in some delicious hot-pooly water we decided to carry on. The last section to the pools is very rough. The track runs along the steep sides of a valley on the true left of the Otehake river. As we were running a little late it started to get dark. Never fear we had anticipated this and already had our headtorches strapped to our heads. From time-to-time we lost the next marker and spent a while bashing around looking for it. Eventually we descended to the Otehake river in darkness.

One of the tamer rivers (Otehake cold pools tramp) resize Charming (Otehake hot pools tramp) resize

Above left: Katie and Emily crossing an arm of the Otira river. A rather weak arm. Above right: We are a charming lot.

I investigated the river and decided it seemed ok to cross. It was fairly happy in the bit that I had tried. We linked arms and started crossing but were forced back when it got too swift. We tried further up-stream. About 2/3 of the way across we came to a halt as my feet were washed out from under me by the swift water. Things were looking a little dire as we precariously balanced in the river with the water up near our hips. Apparently Emily and Katie also had rather poor foot holds and so we edged very slowly backwards to the bank where we stood there pumping adrenaline for some time. Ughh…

Hard outs (Otehake cold pools tramp) resize Happy little tent (Otehake cold pools tramp) resize

Above left: The last two hours from Lake Kaurapataka to the hot pools is fairly rough going. It was made more difficult by the darkness. Here you can see the two hard-outs Katie and Emily bashing there way through the bush. Above right: Everything looked much happier in the morning. Here’s our tent pitched on the island.

Instead of trying to cross again we headed up on the right-hand side of the river and pitched our tent in the middle of the ‘island’, an area in the middle of the river. At this point the water was only flowing to the true right of the island but I was unsure if it was going to rise over night and flood the true left leaving us trapped in the middle. We gave up on trying to find the hot pools and went to bed.

In the morning we looked across to see the site of the pools completely under water. Boo hiss only cold pools for us. We packed up and started the long slog back to the car. As we were walking along the steep rough section towards the lake Katie decided to entertain us with her somersaulting prowess. This may have been to alert us that we had briefly left the track and were going the wrong way. Luckily as she somersaulted she also demonstrated how one self-arrests on a steep slope using features of the terrain, i.e. tree roots.

As the river was still too high to cross we walked back to the Deception bridge and I ran down to pick up the car. On the way I was picked up by a couple who had collected Katie and Emily. We drove back to Arthurs Pass, abandoned plans to cycle home the next day, and drove back to Christchurch.

Above: Scrambling back along the rather rough track (with mystery missing frames at the end due to some nasty issue in my encoding software).

Otehake cold pools – walk in and out (Nov 2011)[maptype=G_HYBRID_TYPE]

Above: A map showing our route into the pools (blue) and back out again (green). The little spikey bits are my GPS loosing it.

Rogaining

Ed, Emily, and I reformed our dream rogaining team and did the last in the series of Wednesday night rogaines. It was a 3 hour event at Halswell Quarry but the course was too easy and everybody romped through it. So did we…

The team sets off on the rogaine (Halswell Quarry) resize Rainbow after the race (Halswell Quarry) resize

Above left: Emily and Ed running towards a control at the beginning of the race. Above right: A rainbow over Halswell Quarry after the race.

Greig and Chris came first finishing in two hours. I was a little worried that Greig hadn’t had a sufficient work-out and egged him on until he ran home with me.

Above: The last 40 minutes.

Back on carbon

I went out for a spin-around with Greig on the Tuesday World’s. As Evan’s pass is closed they have a new route around the bays to Lyttelton and back over Dyer’s. We met Chris, Em, and Al on the way riding the other way two hills before we got spat off the back of the bunch. Oh old age is a horrible thing… All these young fit lads. Curses… Maybe next week will be easier. Still I was happy how light and responsive my carbon steed is compared with my aluminum dunger in Germany.

After being dropped on the Tuesday World's (Christchurch, NZ) resize

Above: Chris and Greig riding at a leisurely pace after we dropped off the back of the bunch.

We headed down to coffee culture to continue talking crap loudly. Ahhh it’s good to be back. I went and visited young Katie afterwards and we schemed tramping trip schemes. The evening was filled with more crap talking at Greig and Clare’s with Al and Amber.

New Tuesday World Route_web[maptype=G_HYBRID_TYPE]

Above: The new Tuesday Worlds route goes out to Lyttelton but then back over Dyer’s. We turned around to Lyttelton due to old age and laziness…