Apparently I’m an early riser in the hut community. I feel like I’m always the first one ready to get up and see what’s out the window. You’d think that when people go to bed at 9:30, as seems to be the standard ‘hut bedtime’ (unless you’re a 16 year old girl on a school trip, then all bets are off), then people would start to move before 7am. Nope. I don’t think my 6am rustlings are appreciated, so I work real hard to lay as still as possible.
We rolled away from the hut, saying good-bye to the French on the way. They were fun. It was a great hut night.
Without the heinous wind of the day before, the ride along the highway was downright pleasant. It would have been a slog yesterday, but with fresh legs and a fresh new day, it was enjoyable pedaling. Plus, it was early enough that all of the campervans hadn’t woken up yet.
We took a long-cut into Te Anau simply because it got us off the highway and made the ride a little more interesting. What was a ‘green circle’ on Trailforks, our go-to map for mountain bike trails, had Scott and I both dabbing multiple times.
That’s a New Zealand green circle for you. (It was basically a rutted and muddy in spots two-track, but the tracks were often deeper than they looked, so switching between them to avoid mud led to some interesting maneuvering.)
Our first stop in Te Anau was a cafe for a late breakfast. We’ve gotten into the habit of splitting the traditional New Zealand Big Brekkie. Seriously, Brekkie is a word here. I love it here. It works well because there are two of everything, eggs, hashbrown patties, sausages, bacon, toast, and even the roasted tomato is cut in two. It’s great for people who aren’t very good at sharing.
Next up: Mountain biking! We knew there was a little mountain bike park north of town, so we rode loaded bikes up there, mostly to see if there was any possibility of camping that direction.
There wasn’t, the park was on private land, but it did lead to an hour’s worth of entertainment after we ditched bags in the bush.
There was even a Mr Bean car built into one of the trails. Scott rode over it three times, because, well, it was cool.
Back to town.
The south to scope out the start of the Kepler track.
And back to town where we’ve ended up at the nicest hostel we’ve been at since this trip started. They gave us towels to shower with! I haven’t used a real towel since leaving the States. It was pure luxury. It’s sort of nice doing without basic amenities for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever been that excited to dry my hair after a long shower…brushing it…well, that always sucks after a week+ in a braid.
Anyhow. Te Anau. Neat little place. We have all day tomorrow to wander around, and with glow worm caves in the area, I think I know what we’re going to do.