Day 1 – 13/1: We drove most of the day arriving mid afternoon in Papatowai. It was cold and rainy so we put off cycling and went for a wander around the lagoon instead.
Above left: Gina, Katie, and I headed down to the Catlins to do some cycle touring. On the way down we found the delectable Bruce – King of Woollens and Katie was quite taken by him. Above right: So was Gina. To be honest, so was I…
Above left: The weather was being a bit mysterious. One minute it was sunny the next rainy and it was very cold when we arrived. We stayed the night in Papatowai. Above right: The Catlins has some pretty beaches and some nice bush although a lot of it is just rolling farm land. I wonder how it would have looked before it was logged.
Above left: Despite the weather there were smiles. Above right: And a curry thing.
Above: There were bits and pieces to find on the beaches but unfortunately no seals, or penguins (oh my) as we had hoped for.
Day 2 – 14/1: The day started with more of the same weather but we were determined to make something of it and set off anyway. We cruised up the Tahakopa river and did a loop back out to the coast. The weather improved along the way but it was still very cold.
We trundled through a mix of green farmland, pine/gum forest, and native bush. Along the way we had to do some emergency sheep flipping after discovering a large woolly beast stuck on its back flailing its hooves in the air. The huge ball of wet wool couldn’t get back on its legs as it was far too top heavy. I jumped the fence and grabbed two big handfuls of wool and heaved. As soon as it was upright it made a hasty get away slipping in the mud and landing back upside down again. Mad flailing and it managed to right itself and was off again, skidding on the slippery grass. And that is why we eat them.
We rode back along the Chaslands Highway which was very nice. Lots of native bush on either side of the road. We stopped along the way at the whistling frog for coffee, and at various other little attractions. It wasn’t until 9 pm-ish that we got back to our campsite. We packed up and drove to Cario Bay and stayed the night there.
Above left: The following day we set off in the rain for a 80 km loop on our bikes. As it was a loop we left tents and whatnot behind. The weather improved and we rolled through rolling farm land for most of the day with some delicious native NZ bush in the evening as we rode back along the Chaslands Highway. Above middle: The road was gravel inland and then sealed again once we reached the main road back out at the coast. Somewhere around here I had to do some urgent sheep flipping after discovering a woolly beast that could no longer get off its back. Above right: That Chaslands Highway was quite nice.
Above left: We stopped for coffee at the Whistling Frog Cafe. Above middle: We discovered a nice flat beach to ride along in the evening on our return to our campsite in Papatowai. Above right: And took photos of the sand being blown along in the strong wind.
Above left: Flat beach, great for riding. Above right: A lot of the coast looks like this. Barren, wind swept fields.
Above left: We set up camp at Curio Bay in the evening.
Day 3 – 15/1: Not much cycle touring (in fact none) but some wandering around the coast. And amazingly the sun came out… And amazingly it was even warm. Very warm. We had to construct a shade device between our tents for our lunch eating comfort, and our post lunch lazing. We drove off to the Catlins River in the evening and camped there.
Above: We spent a day faffing around at Curio Bay where the waves were big and the spray bigger.
Day 4 – 16/1: More rain. We went and hung out at the Curios Coffee Bus in Papatowai and amused ourselves there for a while. Then it was goodbye to Katie as she hadn’t quite had her Catlins fill yet and Gina and I drove back to Christchurch. Well Gina drove. I blogged.
Above: The cycling/lazing team enjoying coffee and hot chocolate at the Curios Coffee Bus.