Today I made it Ashhurst via Apiti, along a road that never failed to surprise. There were a series of ravines that the road disappeared into and had me sweating profusely to get out of, back up onto the flat plain. There was also a section of dirt road which was a bit like cycling on snow, so loose was the gravel. Interesting with a fully loaded bike I can tell you. It was easily the remotest road I have cycled on this trip, including everything in Asia. I can’t have met more than 5 vehicles all day, and as a result was the best day’s riding I’ve had in New Zealand to date. In fact, I think I saw more planes than I did cars (they are used for fertilising crops here).
Ashhurst has just hosted an international week of cycle racing according to the bloke I got chatting to in the local chippy. It was made obvious they are cycling mad round here when I went to the local small grocery store and noticed they had seven different cycling magazines in stock. I can’t mention the chippy without saying how cheap it was… (I am Scottish after all) I think it’s the first time I have bought anything where it was cheaper than it would be for the equivalent back in the UK. NZ$7.70 for a HUGE burger & chips. I’ve mainly been cooking for myself since coming to N.Z. but as I didn’t have any petrol for cooking (I used all of that trying to set fire to Rangiwahia), I didn’t have much of a choice. Oh, petrol, that’s cheaper too. Hardly a surprise that though….