Thursday, 24 March 2011

Cycling Day Twelve

We couldn't delay any longer, we had to leave the YHA and get back to camping, so we left Owaka and it's central heating and hospital beds and headed over some quite large and steep hills towards McLean Falls. We nearly killed ourselves getting to the top of the first hill and paused to look at the view and eat jelly sweets, hideously in front we could see more climbs to come and the smallest of downhills possibly. With jellies giving us energy we pressed on and eventually reached the car park for Matai Falls, more for a rest than anything else we set off through the bush for a view, and well worth it it was in the end, really pretty. We got chatting as usual back at the car park until a campervan jam hurried us on our way - a bit scared of getting squashed! Next stop along the way was Papatowai and the Lost Gypsy Caravan, this was a bonkers place that loads of people had recommended to us. The guy just invents stuff out of junk, loads of automata, and also seems to collect weird things, he must have a really crackers imagination. We explored the caravan and his garden, there was cycling skeletons, metal tentacles coming out of the bushes, all sorts. Also really good coffee. We had a happy hour there apart from the voracious sandflies that were out in force. Bed for the night was at a campsite in the middle of the Catlins Forest, it was quite claustrophobic in a way, trees as far as you could see, the sea could be heard though so couldn't be far away. A quick trip to see McLean Falls themselves, an encounter with the dreaded Kiwi Bus and then back to the Whistling Frog Cafe for a very tasty meal that all the same left a couple of peckish cyclists wishing for a chippy!

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