[Original post by Elliot Mogerman – Transferred from yahoogroups.com]
Made it through the pub crawl without any further furniture incidents. The next day I found information on a big Rugby match going on between the local Christchurch team, The Crusaders, and the Auckland Blues. This longstanding rivalry makes for an interesting atmosphere. So the stadium is about a 40 minute walk and we figured it would be easier to find a bus. When we arrived at the bus terminal, Mike asked the first bus driver which one we should take. He mentioned his empty bus was heading that direction for the airport and would give us a free lift there. So we had our own private bus ride to the stadium and it only took less than 10 minutes because there were no stops. For dinner I had a hamburger, hot dog, and fish and chips. The local team won!
Next day we rode coast to coast following several rivers and a few national reserves including Lewis pass. These were not as scenic as Arthur’s pass but still worth the lush green riding. The weather was perfect, no rain, and up the west coast we saw the pancake rocks. Yummy. There was a lot of construction the last two days and made it difficult to find a rhythm. Every time I got comfortable construction signs produced themselves out of the blue and forced me to slow down and break my stride. The road will be lovely once it’s completed. My favorite jeans ripped on my thigh from being worn too much and I assume they will not last much longer. At night I went to open my tent and one of the braces snapped. We tied it together and now my tent is the “R” word. But it works and I can hope it stays together until I get home to replace it or get it fixed. I fishtailed through some curves with loose gravel trying to make up some lost time.
Lots of ocean views and large mountain ranges were part of the riding display today. For brunch, we stopped in the middle of nowhere and met some very animated café owners. The southern island kiwi’s are proud and think their island is better. He proceeded to tell us why. Because there’s more white people on the south island and this is ok to say, he’s not prejudiced, since he owns a color television. At night we arrived on the tip of the far northwestern part of the island and camped on an old rugby field. We rode through a town called Tekaka and the funnier thing is the Pupu stream that lies next to the town. It is the cleanest water I have ever seen. Leave it to Mike to turn a 6 hour day into an 11 hour day. He mixed up our schedule leaving the island by ferry with the Germans and wanted to take every windy mountain road in the north in one day before we left. We rode fast down every hair pin turn curvy mountain road all day and was quite the work out. As I didn’t sleep at all due to some snoring, I was a little grumpy and managed to keep it under control so the beautiful day could be enjoyed. We ended that night at a nice camp sight that only took my old arch enemies, the mosquitoes, a few seconds to find me. While nursing the itchy bites, we ate at the barn and I had lamb filets and roaring meg wine.