Thursday, March 15, 2012

Passed by the Peleton

Today, after three nights at Fox Glacier, I was back on the bike. I really enjoyed my time at the glacier and the village, but I was also glad to be on the road again. Time to see some new sights!

Last night I treated myself to a nice dinner at the Cook Saddle Saloon and Restaurant. I had pork ribs and fries and mud cake for dessert. As I was leaving, I passed Steve and Nancy from the Heli-Hike. I stopped to talk to them. Ended up talking for about an hour, even though I needed to get back and organize my stuff and take a shower. Of course, I much preferred visiting! They are a very nice couple who have done alot of travel. They are fairly young too! I told them I was impressed with their travel experiences.

I finally said goodnight to them and headed back to the holiday park. I've determined the best place to meet female cyclists is in the bathroom. Night before last I met Janet. Last night I met Diane from Pender Island, BC. She is solo cycling for 9 weeks on the South Island. Unfortunately, she is going north. We chatted for awhile and I decided I would take a shower in the morning.

I did abit of organization in my tent and went to bed. Today was only 69 km of fairly flat riding, so I didn't need to get a crack-of-dawn start.

I got up and took my shower (actually it was good because I knew I wouldn't have a shower tonight at Lake Peringa). I packed everything up and headed to the kitchen for breakfast. Diane joined me and we ate together. We exchanged info as I would like to cycle in the Canadian Gulf Islands where she lives and she would like to cycle in Washington. Maybe we'll get together for a tour?

I got on the road at about 9:30. It was pretty easy riding. The clouds had come in again (making me so grateful to have done the heli-hike yesterday). It spit rain a little, but I could see blue sky ahead. I was pedaling along when two guys went by on road bikes. They said g'day and fired on past. Then about 10 minutes later I heard voices. I looked in my rear view mirror and could see a peleton of about 25 cyclists coming up behind! A couple said hi, but most just rolled on past. One hollered, "Ease off!", then charged to the front. Shortly after, three more cyclists went past saying, "A couple minutes more and we'll be back with them". They were followed by a support vehicle. Must have been some sort of event.

I continued my way to Lake Peringa crossing one-lane bridge after one-lane bridge. There were 9 total today. Lots of rivers coming out of the mountains.

I, briefly, returned to the coast at Bruce Bay. It was a nice beach so I stopped to fix some lunch. The place where I stopped had this curious pile of white rocks piled on a big rock. When I looked closer, I saw the white rocks had writing on them. There was even a permanent marker to do the writing. Of course, I had to go out on the beach and find a white rock to add to the pile. I found a nice one and wrote, "Super Biker Woman from Washington State, USA rode by here on 14-3-2012. I added it to the pile (and took a photo).

After another 25 or so kilometers, I made it to Lake Peringa. It is a small DOC campsite used primarily as a boat launch for the lake. There are the usual representatives from the various campervan rental companies, with Jucy having the most vans. It costs $6 and is also a Mecca for sand flies. It's head net time!

Tomorrow I go on to Haast where I will once again stay in a Top 10 Holiday Park. I won't have as many kilometers, but there will be a couple of medium climbs.

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