Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 2: Hokitika to Hari Hari. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

Our first night on the road was spent at the lovely and comfortable Drifting Sands backpacker, i.e. hostel. Our sleeping pads, however, we're not lovely and comfortable.  In my quest to carry only the lightest load, I opted to not bring my nice self-inflating sleeping pad and instead bought special for this trip the slimmest excuse for a sleeping pad available at Recreation Outlet, a $6 foam pad that is exactly 1/2 thick.  Drew brought a foam pad he received free with some purchase years ago, which was not much thicker than mine. Needless to say, we didn't have the best nights sleep and were both up at 6:30. That's how you got such an informative blog post yesterday. But between the blogging, eating Birchers yogurt (a wonderful mush of Greek yogurt, fruit, and muesli that we mixed up the night before), sipping long whites (like a latte but no foam) and eating the fabulous cheese scones, a cinnamon roll made with scone batter, and another of their meat pies,

Stopping at the iSite to make reservations for the next two nights stay, and snapping photos at the beach,

Stopping to stock up on groceries at the last good store until Queenstown,
It was 12:30 before we got rolling.  No matter, at least we missed the light rain shower.  

We learned a valuable lesson about the strength of the sun yesterday.  Check out the funky sunburn on my wrists and forehead.

The business
Riding on Day 2 was more casual. The road was flatter, the winds were calmer, and the traffic, while not friendly, was less frightening. The title of this post comes from the scenery.  It changed from open farmland to lush rain forest and back to a mix of wet farmland fighting off the rainforest.

We stopped to rest and eat a snack at the old gold mining town of Ross.

And at the Bushmans center for a Pepsi.

Before reaching our destination of Hari Hari 5 hours after starting.  Ride time 3:21, 73.3 km, average speed 22 km/hr. our average speed today was actually higher than yesterday's ride down from high elevation. Cool. We are studs.
Our lodging, the Hari Hari Moter Inn, was a pub, which is a restaurant and bar attached to a hotel.  While they offered regular rooms with an on suite bath, we opted for the cheaper "backpacker" option with a shared bathroom. The room was a little cozy

And the amenities were a bit run down.

 But the shower was hot and the beer was cold.
So we enjoyed our dinner of a hamburger and Huge Bowl of fries for Drew and a whitebait Sammy for me. Whitebait is the specialty in this region. It is a little spelt-like fish. They fried it up in egg and put it between two slices of bread. I wasn't overly impressed, and had a side of yummy roasted veggies to give my body some nutrition.

We had a look see around the town, er, street.

And learned a little aviation history (since the geology-heavy portion of the trip is coming up) about a famous transTasman flight gone bad in 1931.

Before retiring to our room at 8 pm to read and blog. 5minutes on the soft beds and the next thing we knew the sun was coming up! Guess we needed that sleep.
Today we press on to Franz Joseph Glacier: 62 km.

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