Glentunnel to Mt. Somers
It was starting to show signs of clearing as we left, and as the day progressed it got nicer and nicer. We were riding quiet back roads with very few cars on them. As the sun came out we could now see the foothills and mountains to the west. As we approached the Rakaia Gorge we did have to get on the main highway as this was the only road across. There was not much traffic though.
It was mostly flat until a fast decent into Rakaia Gorge. The rivers the flow across the Canterbury Plains form very wide beds. It was obvious that a whole lot more water comes down in the rainy season. Here the Rakaia formed two distinct channels as it fed into a large reservoir. The water was a bright aqua color typical of glacial runoff. I don't known if this river is glacier fed, but many of the rivers here were this color. After crossing the river we of course had a big climb. The steepest part was right at the start, and I did have to get off and walk a little. I didn't mind because it gave me a chance to soak in the scenery.
After the gorge we were back up on the plain. We crossed a couple more rivers but none quite as spectacular. We weren't quite sure where we could end up, we were just following the route in Jelle's Kennett Bros guide book, which was keeping us off the main highways for the most part. When we saw the sign for Mount Sommers we were ready for a break as there had been no towns in quite some time.
We pulled into Mount Sommers and there was a small store. We got a few refreshments and sat around for a bit. Yelle had to make a phone call so I told him I was going to find the public toilets and rode off following the signs. It turned out the toilets were at a very nice Domain Campground, and directly across the street was a tavern. I sent Jelle a text saying to come over. His phone call was to confirm that he had gotten a bonus after being laid off from his job. We went straight to the tavern and celebrated.