We had few days of rest in Wanaka and were really good for us, as the days until there were quite hard and also was the moment that we were able to plan and organize better the second stage of our journey.
We left Wanaka in the morning and our destination was Tarras, the road was quiet, we had a small lunch break and after that, we followed a quiet road, just a few cars. We arrived in Tarras relatively early and we were looking for some place to pitch the tend. On that moment we were surprised by a New Zealander asking if we were looking for a ride.
Our next destination was the Lindis Pass, a region of a mountain, it would take us about a day to cross and we decided to take the ride, as we had not found a place to spend the night and it would be easier to find somewhere passing the Pass. Lee a really nice New Zealander guy offered us a ride and also to spending two days at his place with his son Jordan and David a family friend. We left Tarras to Oamaru, it was an incredible two days, where we could share with them, a little of our history and a delicious recipe of Pavlova, a traditional New Zealand dessert.
After these two days, we returned with Lee to Omarama and continue to our next destination, Lake Ohau, we followed through the cycle trail Alps2Ocean, this trail connects the region of the Alps to the Ocean and has on total 300km of the longest trail of the country. It was a tough day with a headwind, from the point that we started until we arrive in the Lake. Unfortunately we had one of the worst nights of the trip so far, strong winds that we could feel the tent moving all night, it was a very hard day and night, which resulted in one of the best photos ever that we have taken. The determination and professionalism of Felippe is always above to everything and even after a hard day, he got the bets shot: The Milky Way!
The lake dawned beautiful, calm and blue, we started the day on the cycle trail, we did an easy day of pedal, with a little bit of tale wind until we reached Twizel, our final destination on that day, was Lake Pukaki, a place that we had been there for three times and we decided to include again in our journey as is a magic place. From Twizel, it would be only 9km to Pukaki, but we could not imagine what was going next, the Wind, our best friend” the headwind. It’s very difficult for me to deal with the obstacles that I been facing on the road and the headwind is one of them. It is a mental job that I need to work it on and on that day was not different, I was pedalling really angry until we reach the Lake.
Lake Pukaki is so far one of the most beautiful places in the South Island, it is a place of a unique beauty, nature, the green, everything it is so alive. Every time that I look to that place, I miss the breath. This time it was not different, I was pedalling and I saw that beautiful place again, all the bad feelings disappeared and a Peace feeling overtook me.
After a bad day and a bad night of sleep in Ohau, we needed to rest our legs, we decided to stay in Pukaki for two nights, after that we head towards to Lake Tekapo, a magical place and that we are passionate about it. We were camped at the beginning of the Lake, and the way to Tekapo was following the entire lake. Every 100 meters we stopped for a photo, video or even just to look the beauty, it was very difficult to leave that place, that beauty, that unique energy that Pukaki has. After a 7.5km ride, we looked at each other and realized that we had to stay there one more day, we needed that place, and in that moment we found a perfect place to pitch the tend, we lived one of the best days of our trip so far, in front of that beautiful turquoise lake and on that night the universe gave to us a wonderful photo for our collection.
There were three beautiful days in Pukaki and we followed to Tekapo, our heart was free, all the way to there was simply wonderful, the mountains and blue channel of Tekapo followed us all day, eyes could never get tired of watching that beauty. We arrived at the end of the day and stayed in Tekapo for two nights.
Lake Tekapo is a dream for every photographer, who is looking for the stars, because of your geographical location, which offers one of the darkest skies in the world. All the seasons offer some kind of different activity and the city has a lot of tourists all over the year.
Tekapo has the observatory of the University of Canterbury, the Mount John. The view from the top of Mount John is simply unique for scenery during the day and open skies at night. At the observatory, there are 6 telescopes, including the largest in the country, which can observe 50 million stars per night. Considered the premier astrological research center in New Zealand, it is operated by the University of Canterbury and has research astronomers from Japan, USA, and Germany.
After two days in Tekapo, we headed to Christchurch, our last destination in the South Island. The roads were busy due the public holiday, and for this reason, we decided to take alternative roads.
The alternatives are not always the same as they appear on cell phone apps, we were on our way to Arundel village, pedalling along a gravel road, and was a time that we crossed with two rivers, the first one was easy to cross, we needed to remove just the shoes to go with the bike and the second one was at the end of the day, we were tired, the river was not too deep, but there was a relatively strong river current, so we had to remove all the bags, put the bike on the shoulder and cross. Felippe did the hardest job of going through with all of our stuff and I was on the other side waiting, the river current was strong, I could not cross by myself. It was a hard work for at least an hour, and at the end of the day, we found a camping where we could rest and to continue the trip to the following day.
It was five-day of pedal after leaving Tekapo, we arrived on the 23rd of October in Lincoln, a suburb of Christchurch, and we had our second experience as guests on the Warmshowers. We were hosted by a New Zealander couple, Bev and Ross, she works in the district council and he is a scientist and botanist of orchids, there were orchids all over the house, a dream for those who are passionate about flowers. A really nice couple, with a lot of experience riding a bike in New Zealand and countries like Italy, was a wonderful experience and we were able to share our journey.
Our last days in Christchurch as at our friend’s place, Alice and Jeremy, we met them through the Warmshowers in 2015, by the time they were cycling down the West Coast, and they were our guests in Greymouth, and on this time we were hosted by them. Two incredible people, with a unique energy, a couple that experiences the culture of the bicycle in the daily bases life. Jeremy is a baker and Alice is a chef, so you could imagine, how were the three days that we spend there. lots of bread and delicious food prepared by them. We were also able to share their last experience in France, a bicycle trip for three months, that they have just returned.
Live, travel, share moments and meet people, are the ones of the things that keep us to continue traveling. Cycling is that, living day by day, overcoming your limits and the challenges, not every day is equal, easy or difficult, it is a mix of different feelings every day, it is real life as is it.