Travel Modalities: Cycling, a few hundred meters downhill gravel walking
Gradual uphill out of Wanaka and I reach a closed Cardrona Inn. I head across the street to the Cardrona General Store. I am majorly letdown. After coffee and banana bread, I discover the Cardrona Inn closed sign was from yesterday and I'm just a few minutes early. I poke my head inside, there's no food yet.
I continue up the hill. I've ridden this one on a tandem. I am not worried. But as it gets steeper, I conclude I was much younger the last time. And it was the first ride of the tour, not the last. And Nico had hired a personal trainer and had monster calves. The last few km are much worse than I remember.
My brakes aren't working well at the top of the hill and they're gone by the bottom. I eventually slow to a stop and touch the front rotor, which burns my finger. I take pictures of sheep and vow not to use the brakes for a while.
I stop at a gate to a 4wd track I am supposed to take. A woman in an SUV tells me to be careful because the track is washed out. I proceed until it starts to get rough and a local tells me it's time to walk. I pass some Germam cyclists walking up. They want to know how long it's steep for. They're going to Wanaka. I have bad news for them, but they speak little English.
I stop in Arrowtown for New Zealand's best pie. (Actually, two of them, but who's counting?)
I eventually admit that I can no lomger stop and make some.brake repairs. I am not an expert with disc brakes, but I bring them back and am angry I didn't do this days ago. I am also thankful I didn't die descending the Crown Range.
I cross the shotover six times. I become more daring on the gravel now that my brakes work.
I stop at the airport to make sure Air New Zealand has a bike box for my flight out. I end up on the highway, but decide the gravel path was more pleasant and rejoin it.
The path gets more crowded. Eventually, I am unable to ride and dismount. I walk to the beach. I am done.