This morning opening the curtains all I saw was more rain. I was hopeful of it clearing later in the day (which it did). My friends and I enjoyed a late breakfast and I set off a little later than usual. My plan was to head around the Catlins then through to invercargill, bluff, te anau and then meeting my friends back at their house in queenstown where I am staying for two nights.
About 30 kms down the road in the Catlins there were noticeable slips as the rain had been incredibly heavy. All of a sudden those slips became larger across the road which I managed to navigate around in the pouring rain. Swollen rivers and flooded paddocks ran alongside the road and then it became obvious the the road had become impassable with major flooding. Sure enough a camper van was parked in the middle of the road and they said they had to turn around because once the water was lapping their doors they knew they had bitten off more than they could chew.
Swollen rivers, slips and impassable roads in the Catlins.,
Now Big bertha can do many things, but swimming is not one of them so I reluctantly turned around and headed back to owAka where I would then get back to Balclutha and shoot across to Invercargill via Gore. This was actually fine as I hadn't ridden this road. The weather very slowly was improving!
By the time I arrived in invercargill it was much later than I anticipated because of my detour. I was in two minds as to whether I would in fact be able to get to te anau as well as arriving in queenstown before dark. While in invercargill I popped down to bluff which is the southern most tip of new Zealand excluding Stewart island. I popped up the "viewing hill" and managed to get a couple of snaps.
As I headed out of Invercargill I thought I saw some blue sky so I thought, stuff it, I'll head towards te anau and see how I get on time wise. When I arrived at riverton I realized that there was no way that I could do those distances before it got dark. I did however think I could cut my losses and do a "bit" of that journey. This is where I managed to get completely and utterly lost in the back blocks ... It was fantastic! .... The roads were incredible and I had quite a lot of fun while I was trying to find my way and get some bearings. After an hour or so of mad fun riding I popped out at Mosten, just in time as I had virtually no gas left and the petrol station was due to close so just in time!!!
From here it was a magical ride following the lakes to Queenstown..... What an awesome journey to so far!
Thanks for taking time out of your day to follow my blog. Cheers, Nick.