Christchurch to Geraldine

New Zealand

After blowing our budget out of the water in Christchurch, Carrie and I were ready to leave the city behind, which is really easy to do. Because there are only about 4 million Kiwis, half of whom live in Auckland, the rural landscape is never far away. On DAY 26, Carrie and I headed southwest for a town called Glentunnel, which is home to the nearest motorcamp and plenty of sheep farms.

The ride was particularly memorable, not because it was really flat, which it was, not because sheep were everywhere, because they were, but because we battled a ferocious headwind for about 60km. Our hardest day so far was on the east cape of the north island, when we went about 100km and climbed a series of long, steep hills. By the end, any slight bit of incline sent me begging for the granny gear. Our ride to Glentunnel, however, was short and relatively flat. But a mean headwind can turn a potentially quick ride into a struggle not to just give it all up. But we didn’t give up! Ha Ha!

DAYS 27 and 28 were not very notable except it rained and we saw sheep. It’s funny, when a huge logging truck rumbles by, followed by a tricked out Honda with one of those extra loud mufflers, followed by a gang of Harley hooligans, the sheep continue eating and lying in the grass enjoying just being alive, but when a cyclist rides by, they stop whatever they’re doing, stare at you like you’re a floating hatchet and then run as far away as possible. The cyclist is a sheep’s worst nightmare.

From Glentunnel we went to Mt. Somers Village and from there we stopped in Geraldine, a quaint town that serves the local farming community. Geraldine is also home to some Swiss immigrants who run a small chocolate store. Carrie and I treated ourselves to some amazing chocolates with caramel. A nice way to finish the day.