Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 18, 2016 Haast to Fox Glacier

The weather forecast for today looked really horrible last night.  It had been such a glorious day and then there was a beautiful sunset so we drove out to a place where we could see the ocean and the sun set.  However even then the heavy duty clouds were setting in along the mountain tops.  The forecast was calling for rain fall of up to 5 mm/hr starting at around noon along with northwesterly winds up to 25 km/hr.  Not good news. 

So we decided to get on the road as soon as possible and maximize the ride before we got either blown or washed off the bikes.   Needless to say the alarm was not a welcome sound at 6:00 am. The temperature was quite warm in the morning and I had put on full heavy duty rain gear in anticipation of the deluge.  So it didn’t take long before I was sweating profusely. 

As each kilometer clicked by there was no rain.  So we were always thankful that no rain and no head wind.  The country side was really pretty with the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. At one point there was a pile of white rocks along the beach which people had signed and left.  Including one from the “triplets from Phoenix  02/12/16”   

The mountains were shrouded in clouds and you could see that higher up it was raining very heavily. Of course when you are a rain forest you have to get a little rain.  Today was also the day of the typical New Zealand one way bridges.  These are marked which way has the right of way and then you just have to guess if the oncoming car will yield to cyclist. 

We stopped to eat sandwiches beside this old barn which had “Shhh”  in big letters on it.  It seemed like only place which did not have millions of biting sand flies. 

The last few kilometers to go and we were convinced that the rain was right around the corner as you could see it up ahead in some of the valleys and the temperature droped several degrees within a few minutes.  However it never started and we escaped getting soaked.  However just as we turned the corner with less than two blocks to go a bee flew into my helmet and even though I jammed my brakes and jerked my helmet off  I still got stung. 

I think the plan is to drive up to see the Fox Glacier later this afternoon.

So another great day of riding in the land where even culverts have names (see picture above)



Anonymous said...

Really glad the rain held off. Sorry to hear about the bee sting. Obviously you did not react to it too badly, as you were able to write your blog. Did you stop by the salmon farm? Three sisters to climb from Fox to Franz Josef and then tackle Mt Hercules before you get to Hari Hari. Last of the big climbs for awhile. Later, Earnie

Anonymous said...

Missed the last couple days, so glad to catch up again on your travels. So glad you are seeing beautiful sunshine for this glorious country. Love your photos! Be safe and have fun. Hi to Jos and Agnes, too!! J&E

Howard Brown said...

Your trip narration is very interesting Terry. You guys are experiencing an amazing variety of mishaps and adventures, both good and bad. How will you ever be satisfied riding the normal rides back home? Keep up writing the great stories and posting pictures!

Wes Reid said...

Wow! Great country! Happy Riding Terry!