New Zealand 2014

Day 19

April 2

  Since we're moving on down to another place today, I go ahead and cook up what is left for breakfast so I don't have to pack it. And I must say, same song, second verse, just as tasty as the first!  
  After breakfast, we get all packed up and ready to roll.  
  It's still early out, but we are headed up to Glenorchy which lies in the opposite direction from where we will spend the evening.  
  I had heard about the beauty of this place, so we decide to take the sign's advice.  
  And am I ever glad we do for the run to Glenorchy will turn out to be one of the most scenic and enjoyable rides of the entire trip. On the way back I set up to shoot some video of the return ride.  
  There are so many places we want to stop and take pictures like here Wilson Bay Reserve.  
  The scenery is incredible as the road twists and turns around Lake Wakatipu.  
  Every rise either brings a new mountain vista ...  
  or a beautiful lake view that ...  
  just seem to get prettier the further we ride.  
  It is a real struggle to try to keep your eyes on the twisty road when such incredible scenery is everywhere you look.  
  And even the straight sections have snow covered mountains as the backdrop.  
  Alain and I leapfrog each other as we stop to take picture after picture.  
  We finally reach Glenorchy, which is a very small settlement. At the head of the lake is the old wharf shed.  
  The shed was classified as a railway terminal because the New Zealand Railroad ran the ferries up and down the lake. There was a short section of trolley track that ran from the end of the wharf to the shed - which was the shortest 'railroad' in New Zealand at the time. The shed was almost destroyed by the flood of 1999, but it has painstakingly rebuilt to its original condition.  
  It's the sort of place that a feller could really get used if he had a way to make a living or the means not to have to worry about it.  
  This is the very 'head' of the lake and the water is so clear and clean that you can see all the way to the bottom.  
  As we head back to our bikes, we are greeted by the Mayor and the Sheriff, or at least that's what I understood them to say.  
  Further down the road we see their official ride - although I bet it's a little tough for them to reach the pedals ...  

The ride back is just as glorious as the ride up.

  You just get a whole different perspective coming from the opposite direction.  
  I find a great spot and get another 'calendar shot' of RubyRed.  
  The weather is wonderful which just adds to the joy of the day.  
  I come to another overlook, and decide to get another 'calendar shot'. After all, there are twelve months in the calendar.  
  Looking back from here, I can see the way we had come as the road twists and turns like a mad serpent.  
  The blue reminds me a lot of the waters of Crater Lake back in the States.  
  This has to be one of the prettiest places that I have ever had the joy of riding a motorcycle.  
  It is just mile after mile of mountains and pure blue water.  
  As we near Queenstown again, we stop for a shot of Wilson Bay from this direction.  
  It's been well worth the little 'detour' to experience one of the prettiest rides I have ever been on.  
  But far too soon we're back to reality after paradise - a world of road construction.  
  Heading toward Te Anau, I see another 'deer' farm where they raise deer like beef cattle.  
  We are still running alongside Lake Wakatipu as we head south.  
  But soon we climb up into the mountains and leave the beautiful lake behind.  
  We decide that we'll take a short break at Garston, a city name from England.  
  There's an Art Deco hotel across the street built in 1939 and the little park that we pull into. The settlement started as a series of sheep stations back in the 1850s.  
  But soon we need to get back after it and we do.  

At our next refuel/defuel in Mossburn, the ladies of the place are trying to paint the facility. One of the windows is stuck shut, so a young feller that works there tries to force it open. When I see the frame bending and about to break, I ask them -

'Do you mind if I lend you a hand? I've done a bit of that stuff before and may be able to open it.'

'Sure, go ahead' one of the ladies says.

I take a razor knife that is laying there and careful slit the paint around the edges of the window. With a light push, it comes right open, much to the chagrin of the young feller standing there. I just smile and head back outside to finish up my snack.

  Outside of Mossburn, we hit another construction stop ...  
  but it doesn't hold us up for very long.  
  As we approach the location of the farm stay, I see more and more of these fantastic hedges which work both as a sturdy fence and a strong windbreak.  
  I can only imagine how the cold wind whips down off the mountains and across the fields in the dead of winter, making the windbreak aspect of great value to the livestock.  
  Soon we come to the turn off to Gillespie Road. The farm stay is located at the very end of the road according to our instructions.  
  It's good pavement for a while, but then it turns to gravel. But it's not the deep kind and has clear tracks on the level which make it lot easier to negotiate.  

I always say that riding a ST on gravel is a bit like a bank robbery -

'Don't nobody make no sudden moves, won't nobody get hurt.'

  A lovely country house awaits us at the end of the road at this working farm ...  
  and two lovely folks - Jeff and Miss Liz. They are also riders and have ridden in the States before.  
  Their farm has both cattle ....  
  and sheep. And the views of the mountains is something I don't think I would ever get tired of.  
  Liz works at a exclusive resort as a cook and it really shows in the supper she prepares for Alain and me.  
  So I do my best to show my appreciation by cleaning my plate and gnawing at the bones.  
  And because I have cleaned my plate I am rewarded with a delightful dessert ...  
  which I manage to 'clean' also.  
  After supper, we retire to the front room and talk about all sorts of topics. It feels more like spending time with old friends in their home than being at a lodging place. But the supper and dessert does its work as my eyelids get heavier and heavier. I wish them all a good evening and head back to my room where a lovely bed is calling my name. I answer the call rather quickly and am out quicker than a blown light bulb.