Date: Wednesday 20 February 2013
Route: Springs Junction to Hanmer Springs
Distance: 94km plus 5km around town
Weather: clear, no wind, very hot in afternoon
Accommodation: Pines Holiday Park – cheap but very basic, no bedding, had to pay 50c for shower! (however it was clean and there were nice trees to sit under)
We had an early start again at about 8.15am – after an Alpine Burger at the Motel restaurant – it included a hash brown and egg on the burger!
The first hour of our ride was a gentle climb to Marua Springs, which is where the main climb of the day (to Lewis Pass summit) started. Luckily this was at the start of the ride and the route was shaded. It took about 35min slow uphill slog in lowest gears to get to the summit. On the other side we had a wonderful long downhill run. After that it was all up and down – probably more down than up.
We had beautiful mountain scenery – following the river tumbling over a rocky valley with mountains on either side. It was exhilarating free wheeling down hills with a huge open river valley below.
It got very hot after 12 – and we suffered for the last couple of hours of the ride. In some places the tar was melting and I could see Kris’s tyre making a track on the road!
We we got into Hanmer just before 2pm and immediately saw Laurie on the main street. We stopped at the Monteith’s Bar for a draft (or two), to cool down and had a good chat. There is nothing as good as a cool beer after you have been cycling in the hot sun.
Laurie came to camp at our campground (we are in a cabin). After cleaning up and shopping we all had a al fresco style meal at picnic tables under the trees. We also met and shared our wine with a young German backpacker and had a long conversation – he is from Bodensee – an area of Germany we really loved.