Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Rolling around Dunedin's hill country

A journey schemed up many months ago, finally the time and weather aligned and we embarked on a classic Dunedin local cycle tour. Departing work promptly on Friday afternoon, our route lead us out of Dunedin over the slopes of Mt Cargill and the North Otago Coast Road to camp at the Karitane River mouth. Awakening to a still day on Saturday we pedalled west on the Karitane to Middlemarch road, new territory for all of us. Our anticipation was well rewarded with hard hill climbs, beautiful valleys, expansive tops and some great descents. 60km of riding and 1300m height gain saw us drop into the plains of the Strath Taieri and the sleepy town of Middlemarch. A great day of riding. Camping aside the Taieri river was a brilliant way to draw the day to a close.

With a cold southerly change forecast we rose early and hit the rode, a steady climb for 2.5 hours brought us to Clarke’s juntion hotel, a haven for many storm stuck travellers in the past and also for us today as the rain began. Fortunately it subsided temporarily and we travelled on, enjoying some flowing downhills to Outram just as the skies opened once again in a great deluge. Wet but warm we indulged in some fine fish and chips before enjoying the last stages over the Taieri Plains and over Three Mile hill into Dunedin City once again. An absolutely brilliant cycle journey, perfect for a summer weekend, days hard earned but not too big, straight out of the office and onto the bike!

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