Anja arrived at work with her bike and gear, a little bit apprehensiveof the journey ahead. We left Christchurch about 10am for the 6 hour trip south on what would be a stunning day passing through the Mackenzie country with Mt Cook brilliantly displayed for us.
Finally arriving in the historic town of Clyde, once we had checked into our accommodation the Hartley Arms, we went for a wee walk around town to look at the buildings and find a pizza for dinner.
Once the lamb was feed, we headed off on our journey heading to Lauder arriving about 3 ish taking 6 and 3/4 hours (3 hours 40 of riding) to cover the 51 kilometres.
Anja arrived tired but happy with her achievement and I was one proud dad!
Staying at the Lauder Hotel, which had recently reopened we did our chores washing our cycle kit ready for the next day and tucked into a large country pub dinner ... it wasn't long before we were stacking the zzzzz's!
Day Two. With breakfast done and dusted, we jumped on our steeds and headed off in to a classic Central Otago day, absolutely clear skies, the sun was out and so was our grins. Today was our biggest day 58.5 kms, but would be our most interesting.
The Trust which operates the Rail Trail has done a great job putting all the history/information boards together and to keep everyone interested. We purchased a Rail Trail Passport which at every station we could get a stamp in it, this certainly was motivating!
We had tunnels and viaducts to ride through and over
One of the high lights of the trip was the stop at Hays Engineering, this property is run by the Historic Places Trust and is a stunning example of early buildings, workshops and lots of ingenuity!
Soon after leaving here we reached the highest point of the Trail from here it would be all downhill (well pretty much) it is pretty much half way too!
Lunch was at Wedderburn, made famous by Graham Sydney's painting. We pushed on to Waipiata ... not much pushing since it was an easy peddle in the sunshine!
We had spent 6 and half hours getting there but only 3 hours fifty of that we were actually riding, Anja finished strongly and was meet by the Waipiata Man ...
All of a sudden our journey had a lot more value to it!
Day Three, rolled around we packed up and headed out, the day was going to be our quickest with the 52.5 kms covered in three hours riding and stopped in Hyde for morning tea. Anja was flying this particular morning, the end was in-sight. We had one other stop along the way which was at the memorial of the 1943 Train Accident in which 21 lives were lost.
Middlemarch appeared on the horizon we had traversed 168 kilometres in three days had seen a whole lot of country we hadn't seen before, learnt about the history of the area, discovered some family history and made some too!
For me this was a special trip, to spend three days one on one with Anja, to see her grow in confidence, to share an adventure together ... it was a trip to remember! Can't wait for the next one.
We spent the night in Middlemarch, caught a shuttle back to Clyde to drive back to Christchurch in time for Christmas :-)