Date: Friday 22 February 2013
Route: Hurunui to Ashely Gorge (near Oxford)
Distance: 100km – exactly
Weather: overcast and cool, slight headwind in morning
Accommodation: Ashley Gorge Holiday Park – excellent value for money, beautiful location – recommended
Today we clocked exactly 100km as we pulled into the holiday park. Kris also broke his first spoke about 20km from our final destination. Hope this doesn’t become more frequent now. We were worried about getting the wheel cog off as it was very stiff at home – luckily Kris got it off after a brief struggle. It was hard starting up again after we had fixed the spoke (we cooled right down and muscles began to get stiff).
We started out the day a bit later than usual, as we waited till 8.30am for the cooked breakfast included in our stay at Hurunui Hotel. The breakfast was huge and fuelled us for most of our ride.
We enjoyed chatting with the proprietor. He told us that he can notice the number of trucks on the road going past the hotel doubling in the last ten years since railways have been stuffed up. He also told us a tragic story about a local man who committed suicide last year by jumping off a local rock formation called frog rock (we passed it later) – his picture is on the bar as he was a regular drinker there.
Possibly the most scenic part of the ride today was Weka pass, near the start of the ride. Interesting rock formations and very dry. We spent a short time on the main drag to Christchurch before veering off to farm roads. These detours extended our planned route from about 85km to 100km.
We stopped and bought our groceries for supper at Amberley around midday. We then got onto Scenic Highway 73. Most of the ride was flat over the plains. As we approached Ashley Gorge we passed more and more lifestyle properties with horses, some miniature horses and Alpacas. The last part of the ride became more scenic with some ups and downs – I was almost getting too tired to appreciate it.
Our cabin here is very comfy and includes a kitchenette where we could cook our supper.