Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 6: Lake Paringa to Haast township

 We had some good sleep in peaceful Lake Paringa lodge and woke to a gorgeous morning.

After a breakfast of pb&j on squished bread, salami and cheese, and instant coffee, followed by 800 mg of ibuprofen and a quick icing session on the tendons, we were off.

The weather was absolutely perfect today.  This region gets 6 to 8 meters (that's like 14 to 20 feet) of rain per year, so the fact that we had partly cloudy skies and blissfully moderate temperatures was a special bonus.

The ride today was pretty flat. For me, sitting in behind Diesel Drew with a light load, it was a cakewalk.  We passed many small beautiful streams, a nice lake, about half way, after a substantial climb, we came to popular Knight's Point.  

From there it was a pretty easy cruise into Haast, right before which we stopped to get our last up-close encounter with the Tasman Sea.  Somehow, I had missed the other opportunities to touch the water, so I figured I better do it here.  It was cold and we saw a dolphin!

The Haast river was pretty impressive. A huge braided stream.  Seeing this at flood stage would be awesome.

Haast is a place of maybe 300 people or so.

  There are a few hotels, but we stayed a the Wilderness Backpacker, a clean, spacious hostel run by a character named Ollie for $65.

$65 worth of beer, groceries and ibuprofen at the store next door and real laundry done in a machine and we were set for the night.
After dinner of boiled pasta from a bag we sat in the atrium and played Jenga as we listened to the rain. Nice.

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