Our first full day in Otago and we were treated to an absolute stunner!
The three amigos left Cameron Flats, but just a couple of k’s down the road took a side track to take in the ‘Blue Pools’ and work on our monkey skills. It has been great having a third addition to our pack! Pepe is a warm soul with a positive outlook on life who is on a similar pathway to us.
Back on the road and after just 10km we stopped for lunch in the rather strange self described ‘tourist centre’. Not so much a town as a cafe with an airstrip next to it for scenic flights.
That said they make a mean veg curry and after a second helping we pushed on.
Soon we were treated to our first view of Lake Wanaka and spent the next section of the ride following its eastern shore South.
With our speaker on and Jimmy Cliff blearing out we didn’t hear Mike, a Backcountry Biker (fully supported tour rider), creep up and whizzing bye. Not wishing to miss the opportunity to test out my legs after 2,500km of touring I put the power down and court the break.
For a good few km we chatted bikes and described each others very different kiwi biking experiences. I left him at a view point and waited for the others to catch up.
After a bit of a rest and a few more bananas we started climbing to the pass between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. After only a couple of hundred meets we were surprised by another couple of Backcountry Bikers. This time Lex also wanted a slice of the action and got involved with the challenge.
I sped off in front while Lex cruised pass them with the boom box still blaring. We both pushed up the hill at some speed and as I crested the saddle I was not only meet by a stunning view of Lake Hawea, but also an ice cold beer curtesy of Mikes better half and a the rest of Backcountry Biking, just incredible!!
The second half of the day took us along the western shore of Lake Hawea. With if anything even more dramatic landscape!
After resting in the only shade available, crouched down in the dirt next to a parked RV, we pushed on the last few km to the campground in Hawea town.
The he campsite itself is not anything special with relatively poor facilities, but it dose allow for you to camp by the lake edge and has a compleat ban on sandfly’s!