The firsts kilometers are very challenge and rewarding at the same time, we arrived in Wanaka on the 07th OCutober 2017, after we crossed one part of the West Coast.
The West Coast is one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions of the country. The rainforest is predominant, the rains are constant in most of the year. The main cities are Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika. We did a part of the West Coast and was very significant, for two reasons, one of because we lived in Greymouth for the past two years and because it was a quiet and beautiful place to cycle around, were really nice days, quiet roads and with few trucks (LOL).
The first 550km was not easy, but we knew it wouldn’t be, we left our comfort zone behind at the moment we decided to embark on this amazing adventure.
Days of sun and blue sky followed us for days and days, the days began to get longer with the spring and the summertime, the most beautiful season of the year, very green and lots of flowers everywhere.
On this second part, we had the opportunity to live intensely the bicycle trip, new discoveries and overcoming the new challenges.
The climbs were more constant on this part. We started in Franz Josef to Fox Glacier, which in our opinion was the most difficult part, we did 23km in 7 hours of a pedal, three intense climbs, the first was medium, the second was light and the third one was hard level, was about 800m of ascension. After all the effort, at the end of the day, we arrived in Fox Glacier, the universe give a gift to us, putting in our way 5 different Brazilians, where we could receive, even for a short time, affection and love after an intense day. In Fox we were hosted by Kelmon for two nights, a young Australian guy, with a free spirit, who is a tour guide in the Glacier region.
Fox glacier is fed by four glaciers, and although it has retreated in the last 100 years, it had a slight increase in the year of 2009. It is a rainforest, is 300 meters deep and this it is only 5km from the Fox city, The most accessible glacier in the world, receives around 1000 people a day in the high season.
Our next destination was the feared Haast Pass, the way until there, it was three days, during that part, we passed through around small towns and most of the times, we found a river or a lake to camp at the end of the day.
The day was grey on our departure from Haast to the Pass, we did around 45km on that day, with a lot of rain and cold weather, the hardest and coldest day of our entire trip, as we are going more to the South of the Island. It was a difficult day, we couldn’t stop to eat due to heavy rain, we pedaled intensely to our final destination, the Pleasant Flat campground which is the lowest point of the Haast pass.
A cyclo tour is a unique experience that connects you to the world and to the people in a more intense way, on the way of interacting and living the culture. This day, after a difficult pedal, we had the opportunity to receive a great affection from two brothers from Germany, who were traveling in a Motorhome. They had met us on the road and when we arrived at the campsite, they offered us a hot cup of tea.
We were wet, cold and feeling hungry, it was a unique moment, that we felt embraced, and it was this small kind of love that makes everything wonderful. Words will always fail me, to thanks all the affection and love that we are receiving from all these people.
After a day of heavy rain, the next day dawned blue and sunny, we were ready to “climb” the Haast Pass, was 37km of “climb,” many waterfalls and blue rivers until the city of Makarora. The crossing is difficult and steep, but a bit easier than we expected, after all, it was 700m ascent, but landscape made the climb lighter, and the day ended in a camping in the middle of the mountains.
The following days were generous with us, with tale wind, we arrived in Wanaka after two days, contemplated with proud and love, our first 550km. We were able to rest for 3 days, recorver the energies and plan better the next steps, which will be to the city of Christchurch.