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Author Topic: New Zealand...Fire 'n Ice'05 part5  (Read 639 times)

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New Zealand...Fire 'n Ice'05 part5
« on: September 15, 2006, 11:56:51 pm »
Previous part4 :

Pitchblack, 6am to avoid the coaches and we're off, faint daylight saw at the start of the mountains, the following sunrise one of those magic moments...

Very narrow valleys,

incredible rock-formations, the Homer Tunnel followed by some nice hairpins, ever more sweet bends before the "pop-out" at Milford?.unforgettable.

The clouds didn't want to lift completely during the boat-cruise of the sound

and the underwater observatory with it's black coral was well worth the visit?.

One last look back...

we again beat most of the traffic on the way back to Te Anau. Another good ride and exceptional day "in-the-bag" :)
Even the setting sun agreed  :)

The next morning it's off down south, Te Anau the start of the Southern Scenic Route which cradles the whole southern end of the South Island. The high mountain recede, replaced by some harshly folded landscape with sharp-ridged hills and 'chopped-out" gullies along the valley floors.

The coast is quite different here, bare and wind-blown.

We're by-passing Invercargill, not wanting to get stuck in some city-traffic, then pick up the Scenic Route again a bit further to the south-east. Sunny breaks framed by black clouds racing low across the skies...and extreme gusts of wind picking up the bikes for a sudden 3-foot side-step...hard riding!

What's the name of that cave?

Not exactly overpopulated here...

Each westerly tack makes the bike speed up, the wind gobbling up most noises? each southern tack is dreaded due to being to quick at the entry, then the moment when the wind hits and shoves the bike all over the place...usually mid-corner somewhere.
Pounawea turns out a very scenic spot on an inlet south of Balclutha...and here Jimbo loses his heart.

It's small, it's a bit forgotten, it's very scenic...and the pub in Owaka puts on a real surprise, the meals are fantastic :)

Clouds are lifting and breaking next morning as we're off for a loop-around-the-block, Balclutha, then back-county roads for the morning up to Etrick.
First a detour after passing a rolled-over truck:

Riding through lush farmland, narrow roads hugging the ridges, shallow mountains as a backdrop...WHOWW, what a beauty!!! And then it gets even better; Lunch at the Gallery 1 caf√?¬© in Tapanui  is  GREAT.

Under blue skies it's west to Gore and north to Mandeville. Somewhere around here is the De Havilland Aircraft restoration place...and we find it. A huge flat paddock, 2 biiig single-storey sheds and an entrance door to the office...that's all from the outside. No entrance tickets, no guides no nothing...but vintage planes in all stages of restoration, from timber-framed fuselages to near-completion stage...it's all here.

 From timber-propped double-deckers to 10 seaters. A handful of people are working here and there, someone beating sheet-aluminium into a wheel arch, someone else profiling a timber-strut with a chisel... This is incredible, even more so, that we're allowed to just walk around and "feel at home'", snapping pics, asking questions?.a place NOT to be missed whenever reasonably close. There's a new hangar is the making which will make it an official tourist thing over the next year or 2...get there before it becomes yet another plasticky- tourist-attraction. The Catlins area is still un-spoilt by McDonalds and real commercialism...

The sweet South:
Of ripper roads, twisties galore and vintage airplanes...

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New Zealand...Fire 'n Ice'05 part5
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2006, 07:01:45 am »
BLIKSEM very nice

Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.