Zen On Dirt

Master Plans, Alps 2 Ocean greatness, day confusualment, and Lake Tekapo

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I find it funny that last night, when I was catching up on writing blog posts (a combination of a freezing night and a late night had me skipping writing two nights in a row…which means catch-up when I do finally get a warm and extended space to write), I wrote something about always having a Master Plan, just not always, or ever, following it to a T.

Our plan was to ride to Lake Tekapo yesterday, spend today lounging on the beach and letting Scott work (tracking season is gearing up…so home we must go because Internet here doesn’t quite cut it), and then hop on a bus to Christchurch tomorrow for final prep to getting on a plane.

When we got to Lake Tekapo yesterday, we pondered changing our bus ticket to a day earlier…there’s not much to this place besides a bunch of people stopping for lunch on their way to Mt Cook or other places down south. But whatever, a day hanging out here wouldn’t be too bad, there is a pretty lake, after all.

And then we woke up this morning and realized that we’re a day off. We have two and a half days here before our bus picks us up.

I guess at least we weren’t off in the other direction. It’s hard to complain about having an extra day, but we’ve definitely sort of run the energy rope out this past 10 days and now sort of feel like we should do something else with our newfound 24 hours. But the only way out of here is on a main highway, or back the way we came…so we’re definitely feeling a little bit of stuckness. And…tired. We are tired.

Something will happen, it always does. Even if it’s two days worth of drinking coffee and lounging by the lake.


We had a fairly straightforward day of pedaling yesterday, except for the wind.

Our campsite in daylight was even better than in evening twilight. We definitely dawdled away the morning, knowing that the cafe down the road didn’t open until 9am.


Cups of coffee one and two were had on a big boulder.


Coffee #3 was from the cafe on the shore of Lake Pukaki.

Then it was on to more Alps to Ocean. We ran into a family touring with four kids who were packing up camp. They had two more kids who were older, but they’d toured with all eight family members before. They hauled trailers, and the kids seemed to be pretty stoked. Lots of people out on these cycle trails, which is awesome.


The full force of the wind didn’t hit until we climbed to the top of Lake Tekapo Power Station 2. A bunch of lakes here are connected by a giant hydro power “scheme” and we got to follow the canal all the way up to Lake Tekapo Power Station 1. There was also a salmon farm in the the middle of the canal where the flowing water provided the fish with fresh water at all times and kept them swimming. The marketing material said this was good for the salmon meat.

We had some at Lake Ohau earlier, it was delicious.

Anyhow, the crosswind was, intense.


At the sole highway crossing, we saw a van with four loaded bikes gathered around it. We stopped to talk, slowly working out that there were a couple from Holland touring, and then a couple from Pagosa Springs, CO, touring on Salsa Fargos there, and they’d randomly started to talk to a Kiwi couple who were touring around in their van.


We were immediately offered coffee (#4) and yummies and spent some lovely time talking to everyone.

From there, it was a fairly short pedal into Lake Tekapo. I would love to find a way to make entrances into town more graceful, but somehow they always end up stressful. With no public showers or laundry, and the prospect of a bus ride soon, we eventually gave up on other options and paid for a night at the local Holiday Park in order to have access to their facilities.

It was an expensive shower and laundry…but beggars, especially stinky beggars who haven’t showered or done laundry in over a week, can’t be choosers.

I always have this dream of ending a trip on a big magnificent high note with celebration…this wasn’t quite it. The reality of it is, end of trips are usually accompanied by complete exhaustion…so maybe I should embrace the fact that I can barely keep my eyes open today and say ‘Job well done.’

But I guess we have an extra 24 hours and a second chance to do it better should we decide to go further. And they’re forecasting rain this afternoon, so maybe it’s better that we get to hang out in a town, even if it is a silly one.


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