Poolburn Gorge to Daisybank
Woke early at my not-so-stealth camping spot on the trail. I wanted to get going before too many riders came along. It was a beautiful morning and I was looking forward to a nice long day of riding. The Tunnels were the first thing up, followed by a long bridge. These were nice tunnels to ride through. No dripping water or puddles. Fairly smooth as well, and fairly short. The landscape changes pretty dramatically on the east side of the gorge. Very dry.
First break was at Oturehua, then on over the top. Some of the tour group were getting to the top about the time I was so I took pictures for them. Then on past Wedderburn and into Ranfurly for lunch. Once again I was hanging out with part of the tour group. I got on the phone to arrange a shuttle from Middlemarch tomorrow, but as soon as I hung up the tour guide Bas offered to give me a ride to Dunedin. So I called back the shuttle and canceled. I was really glad I met these folks on the morning out of Clyde.
When I got to the camp spot it looked deserted, but then I walked down to the river and there were some people camping. John & ? from Australia were on touring bikes There was also another fellow camping further upstream, who I never met. And while I was talking to ?, Sarah also from Australia showed up with a loaded backpack. She is hiking the trail and came all the way from Middlemarch today. That was as long as our first day on the trail when I was riding with Jelle. The river seemed even warmer. I got fully submerged and got a good bath.
It was a lovely warm night. I took a long walk and played my Shakuhachi.