Hanmer to Christchurch

Hanmer to Christchurch

So onto the main highway back to Christchurch. I say highway 🛣️ it’s a normal road, but for New Zealand this is a highway! I can’t believe I’m about to complete my first-large-bicycle-tour. It’s all pretty uneventful as I head southwards.

My next camp spot is the large domain ground of Culverden. Tucked up in the far corner under the shadow of the setting sun. The ground is flat: short mowed grass, no sandflies, no mosquitos, temperature pleasant. Happy days.

The morning, though starts overcast. It soon turns to rain 🌧️ but doesn’t last longer than early afternoon.

My final night wild camping ⛺ (never say never, though!) in New Zealand is on the banks of a dry river bed near Amberley. I’d previously splashed out on a peppered steak … nice way to finish.

I was kindly offered accommodation in Christchurch from one of the partners of the backpackers down in Owaka. Jan also owns a backpackers in Christchurch, but its still presently off-line from the earthquake two years ago! As I cycle through Christchurch I enjoy the plentiful cycle lanes on offer.

My next days are spent in search of a bike box from a local bike shop 📦 NZ$5, but this does include bits of plastic to protect the forks and rear derailleur. The box is very rigid, so money well spent. This is the first time I’ve used a bike box, and must say it’s the way to go. Just extra piece of mind with protection around the bike. The down side, you lose nearly 5kg’s with the weight of the box ☹️

I’m flying with Jetstar to Hobart. And as with any no-frills airline ✈️ it means paying extra for any checked-in-baggage. I covered myself up to 40kg’s for the bike, two small panniers and one large pannier (in a Chinese bag). It all came to 39.8kg’s, so got my moneys worth! Cost of the extra been near the NZ$90 mark. Jetstar do have a generous 10 kg carry-on, so not so bad.

My final day I make a visit to Scott’s Last Expedition exhibition. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and a great recommendation if it visits your country or if you happen to be here in the next few months.

Jane (Jan’s mother) kindly drops me at the airport on the 7th March 2013. Thank you to Jan and Jane for hosting me, very kind.

“You don’t have to be twenty, male and an ace mechanic to set out on a great journey. I’ve cycled round the world twice now. I’m not young, I’m not sporty, I never train, I appreciate good food and wine and I still can’t tell a sprocket from a chainring or mend a puncture!” – Anne Mustoe

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