Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Cycling Day Seven

The start of the Otago Rail Trail today, an easy start with just about 30km to do to Omakau. The trail was created about 10 years ago when the old rail lines were ripped up, it's traffic free and fairly flat so fab for cycling. We picked up a passport before starting that we would get stamped at the various stations along the way.

We are not quite sure whether Sustrans would get away with it but there are some big drop offs and scary bridges where the path narrows with no warnings and big holes at the side. We would have to have railings and warnings and all sorts of things in the UK. Good fun anyway. We rattled over several old wooden viaducts, having to replace panniers at the end as they bounce off, great views around the valleys of this old gold mining area.

We arrived at Chatto Creek tavern in time for a very tasty dinner and half pint and a quick view of NZs smallest post office - it wasn't much bigger than the old outhouse next to it.

Off again in the sun up the steepest section of the trail, the 1 in 50 up Tiger Hill. We were surrounded by hills but unfortunately low cloud over them meant we never really got a view. We arrived at Omakau in good time and set up camp. We had a short ride out to see the neighbouring town of Ophir, another old gold mining place and then got back to camp to make tea. Just in time too as a party of 20 scouts arrived soon after and the place got a bit chaotic!

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