Bikeride from Lake Tekapo to Lake Ohau
On the stretch between Lake Tekapo and Lake Ohau there are only few options for overnight stays - leading to a 40+ km stretch between Tekapo and Twizel. The trail notes suggest renting a bike if unwilling to walk a stretch that long - so we did. That trail is actually part of the Alps2Oceans Bicycle Trail.
Since we had received our bikes the evening before, we weren't in a hurry and started into the day pretty late - sleeping in, then going grocery shopping again - since today was New Years Eve we even treated ourselves to a bottle of wine. After all we'd be a lot faster on the bikes and the weight of it all would be in the backpacks on the trailer.
The first few kilometers, still on a sealed road besides the almost unnaturally bright blue Canal, rolled by pretty fast. While riding we had some magnificent views into the Tekapo Valley.
But soon we followed the Tekapo Canal on a gravel road and strong headwinds picked up and at some points we felt almost like we didn't move forward at all. Riding the bikes with trailers attached that carried our backpacks ended up being a bit harder than we expected. In the gravel the trailers sometimes wobbled around and balancing them out wasn't always easy. At that point the kilometers started to feel like they stretched on forever. The sun was out and it was really hot on the road, with no shade to cool down. The buffs we used to keep our necks from being burnt ended up giving us a rash on the neck due to the restricted airflow - so after a while we really just wanted to finally set up camp.
Since we hadn't managed to find accommodation in Twizel when looking things up the day before, we decided to stay at the Pines Freedom Camping Area at Lake Pukaki. That fortunately also meant we halved the whole ride pretty evenly.
The camping area was a very nice place to start into the new year. We prepared a little dinner, as nice as our one-small-pot-restriction would allow anyways, and enjoyed our bottle of wine and some chocolate, watching the sunset. Then we went to bed, before the new year had even begun.
On new years day we first rode the last ten kilometers to Twizel. There we spent some time in the nice little town center, having a coffee and buying more chocolate for the rest of the trail.
By the time we were done with that it had started drizzling and our motivation was below zero. We wrapped ourselves in our rainjackets and the backpacks in plastic bags and then continued our ride. About as soon as we had ridden out of Twizel it stopped raining an we took out jackets off again. The clouds stayed though, which made riding a lot more comfortable than the day before - our necks were pretty happy not to get all burned up again.