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Archive for March 24th, 2019

While we were in Hokitika (and earlier) a fire broke out in Pigeon Valley (near Nelson, New Zealand).  We had originally planned to spend time in Methvin (NZ) but realized we didn’t want to do any road riding in NZ so we had changed our plans to spend a week Mountain Biking in Nelson.  We monitored the fire while in Hokitika and finally had to make the call to change our plans (the road we would have travelled was closed and the smoke density in the area was unhealthy).  We were sorry to have to adjust — especially when we didn’t have any follow-on or back up plans!   We quickly went to work–we checked out websites for good riding locations and settled on Hanmer Springs!  Boy were we glad we did.  This place rocked!  So scenic, excellent riding, hot springs, and we found an outstanding massage therapist.

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We wound up staying in Hanmer Springs for six nights at a great lodge (Alpine Springs Motel).  The host and hostess were a great couple, very welcoming, and full of good advice for places to visit in town.  The population in Hanmer Springs is only 800 people … it’s a definite vacation locale but, during the week we were there, it was a very quiet, pleasant locale.

Look at all the trails above — all for riding and hiking!  This week afforded us an opportunity to rest and catch our breath as well as continue to train for our upcoming Alps to Ocean (A2O) tour.

We settled into our accommodations and went for a short ride into the forest.

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So nice and cool … just a great experience.  The next 2 days we went for longer rides out a couple of dirt roads … very little traffic and scenic!  We actually split up this day — I did a nice MTB track while Deb cruised out another road … so beautiful.

IMG_20190211_150705986Since we were down in a valley the views all the way around were incredible.  IMG_20190211_150958259We had excellent weather the whole time we were there.  Actually, the bigger problem was it was too hot so the risk of fire was high …IMG_20190212_181720087Just a beautiful area to cycle.IMG_20190212_181724569I made my way into the forest for some up and down riding …IMG_20190213_132919559Yeah … haha.  pretty fun!IMG_20190212_181833108See how dry the grasses were?IMG_20190212_181813182_HDR

The following day we took a break from the bikes and went for hike … it was like we were all alone on the trail!  We figured out why after we were finished hiking … the trails were closed due to high fire danger.  haha.  Oh well …we had a very pleasant and quiet hike.  The New Zealanders imported several “exotic” tree species and had planted many different kinds in this area to see which ones would grow well.  The Hanmer Forest is still a privately owned property where there is logging … they’ve worked with the city to build trails through the forest while it matures.  Some of the trees they had here were California Coastal Redwoods … pretty impressive, as usual.

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As with the other places we’ve hiked in NZ, the trails were very well maintained.IMG_20190214_112609606We gained a little elevation on our hike, too!IMG_20190214_111215737A close up view … looking up the valley.IMG_20190214_111207101

Our final ride was a big one–not distance-wise but elevation!  We climbed out of Hanmer Springs to Jack’s Pass and then down the backside a short way to Molesworth Station … and it was a sustained climb … it seemed to go on forever (2000 feet of climbing) … this was my standard view–trying to keep up with Deb as she motored up the mountain!

IMG_20190215_134609989I kept at it … no stopping here!IMG_20190215_131917007The view back down to the valley was incredible …IMG_20190215_141522280Our final destination up top.  IMG_20190215_134938164We wanted to press on but we had a late start that day and didn’t want to get stuck up there!  Here’s a couple more images from that ride.

IMG_20190215_135156321IMG_20190215_135310831IMG_20190215_141527802There was so much more riding we could have done up there!  If we ever decide to go back to NZ this will be a place to spend a couple of weeks …IMG_20190215_135045216

One of the reasons we enjoyed it so much was also a lucky find.  We were out for a short drive around town the first day and saw this sign …

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Although I didn’t go in for the Hypnosis I definitely came back for the massage! The owner has been trained all over in so many different styles and types of Massage.  Deb and I both found the place thoroughly relaxing and were quite refreshed when it was time to press on.  Having completely enjoyed our time (and wanting to have stayed longer) we packed up the car and drove away happily towards the next stage of the adventure!

Stumblingpiper

 

 

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