Going wild!

After having spent most of our time riding asphalted roads, it was now time that we pushed our limits a little and tried some “off-road” on a 4-wheel track from Walter’s Peak to Te Anau. Not only would this be a challenge for our bikes, but also for ourselves as we were going to go through a region without any habitation for a few days. But what a great trip it was: probably one of the highlights of our tour!

On the first day, we traversed beautiful, lush landscapes, following lake Wakatipu up onto a high plain, where it was amazingly beautiful, especially with the last orange rays of the sun lighting up the snow topped mountains around. However, with the sun down, it quickly got very cold and we decided to put up our tent next to a small creek. The evening didn’t consist of much: some quick cooking, a little stargazing and then quickly into our sleeping bags for a freezing cold night.

On the road...

On day two, we only did a few kilometers until the Mavora Lakes. Two beautifully placed, abandoned lakes in the middle of nowhere (or so it seems as we were the only living souls around) with water so clear that we could see the reflections of the surrounding mountains in it, making for a strange “upside down mirror effect”. We decided not to go any further but pitch our tent in this place and enjoy this feeling of “we are the only ones in the world” by mountain biking a bit around the lake. It was good to feel “free” again without the load of the bags. Jean-Christophe also discovered the fun of “riding through water” and tested the limits of his water-repellent shoes (yes, water-repellent, not water-resistant… in the evening: “My feet are soooo cold!”) by riding through every water hole he could go. When the sun got down, we gathered wood and made ourselves comfortable around a little fire which we also used to cook a meal. And not only the fire kept us warm, also the “running around” to find wood in the dark. :-) We again did a little bit of stargazing before heading into the tent early (this time with 4 shirts, a pair of long pants, 2 pairs of socks and a hat for Vera) for another cold night.

Getting wet! ;-)  Wildlife Reserve

Despite a little rain in the night (Vera was happy, because “rain means clouds” and “clouds mean warm” :-) – it’s definitely funny to see how your relative perception of things changes when you are out in an environment like that) the weather turned out to be fine the next morning and while our gas cooker tried to boil some water from the lake (tried, because first, the gas was frozen (despite it sleeping inside the tent and inside JC’s hat this night) and when we finally got it working, it only wanted to go on a very small flame taking one hour to finally boil some water, or honestly: we decided to drink it unboiled, thinking that our stomachs should still be resistent enough after 7 months in Asia… ;-) ) we packed our stuff to go. The road wasn’t as spectacular as it had been the last days and at for the last 30 kms we got some strong headwind as a present. But we made it and finally got to Te Anau where we enjoyed the good things of civilization: a latte coffee, a chocolate-chip-banana-muffin and a bacon and egg pie. Mmm… :-)

Vera & Jean-Christophe

One Comment

  1. Posted May 28, 2008 at 17:53 | Permalink

    Ben dis donc… ça c’est du voyage!! tu m’étonnes qu’après ça la photo de quelques kassaves te donne faim!