The Neck and Lake Hawea in New Zealand are featuring the calendar photo of the month July. This time the image is taken from my English New Zealand Calendar, for the German Calendar it is included in April. I remember my New Zealand adventure as if it was yesterday that I returned. After all, I came home with a new friend and a trail name that would become more than just a nickname.
A hot ride and flat ride, or not?
Oh yes, I remember the day. We had been on a walk through the forest and to see the reflection of Mount Cook (Aoraki) in Lake Matheson before we took the bus to Mount Aspiring National Park from where we started our ride to Wanaka. Our lunch stop was in a parking lot at Lake Wanaka, from where we enjoyed the view and some food. I was also looking forward to what was supposed to be one climb up to the plateau and from there on it was supposed to be a flat and easy ride. I don’t know where that flat ride was though. It did not happen that day. The climb up to the plateau was not as bad as the next day’s climb up Crown Range would be, but I was suffering in the heat. Solo was kind enough to stay close to me.
Flat section ahead
We met our guide again in a parking lot at Lake Hawea, again being told from now it would all be flat. Oh, it was not. Not at all. Damn, I was fighting my way through it. One of the hills I only managed to handle because I was telling myself that I could go where Solo was – he was riding a little ahead of me at the time. Of course, when I reached that spot he had gone on, so I continued telling myself I could get where he was. On top of that hill, he was waiting for me, reserving a tiny spot of desperately needed shade. Riding in 37˚C (98.6˚F) with very little shade to find. Maybe the weather was the main reason I was struggling so much? I don’t know. From that hill on, we told ourselves there would soon be a village and a café where I could get some cold drink. The thought of a good cold Coke was keeping me going for some time. Until we realized, there would not be a café. The village we were counting on was not where we needed to go. Well, I still got my Coke. From a gas station though. Solo and I were both considering to give up if the guide with the bus would show, but after some time waiting and no guide in sight, we decided to go on and get to Wanaka on our bikes instead. I would later learn what was the cause of my struggles, not that I would be able to change that…
You can find the complete story of my New Zealand adventure here on my blog.